Fishing Tips

Kenney in Drivers Seat for Sunday Finale

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Professional bass angler J.T. Kenney slipped a bit and weighed in his smallest limit of the tournament, but it was still enough to maintain a near-insurmountable 12 pound, 8 ounce lead heading into the fourth and final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Mercury. The top cash award of $125,000 is now his to lose as the world’s best bass-fishing pros continued their four-day battle out of Big Toho Marina on Saturday.

The Palm Bay, Florida, native moved on to the final day of competition as the No. 1 seed with a five-bass limit of 14 pounds, 5 ounces. Kenney’s three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 66-12 gives him a commanding lead over second-place pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tennessee.

“I think that I’m really starting to understand those big Florida-strain female bass,” said Kenney, who is looking to bank his second career win on the FLW Tour. “I know that I could have lost this tournament today if I would have gone and tried to catch those big ones. I have a sizable lead, so I went into defense mode. I stayed up in Lake Toho and caught a decent bag of fish.”

Kenney said that he had been catching his fish the previous two days of competition in Lake Kissimmee, using his J.T. Kenney-signature series Halo Rod to cast a Gambler Fat Ace. Due to the overcast weather conditions Saturday he was forced to audible to his backup plan.

“I broke out a Nichols ½-ounce Pulsator spinnerbait and stuck around areas where I knew fish were and caught around 10 keepers,” Kenney said. “My whole plan is coming together. I had a contingency plan for a cold front and today I went to it and utilized it. I knew that when I took off this morning that I wasn’t going to catch a giant bag of fish, but I was playing defense.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do or where I’m going to be fishing tomorrow yet,” Kenney went on to say. “I’ll have to see what the weather does. I’m going to play whatever cards Mother Nature deals me and if it works out, it works out.”

The top 10 pros are advancing to the final day of competition on Lake Toho. Here are Saturday’s standings:

  1. J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 66-12
  2. Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 15 bass, 54-4
  3. Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 15 bass, 53-11
  4. Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 15 bass, 50-0
  5. Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 15 bass, 49-15
  6. Bridgford Foods pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 15 bass, 49-11
  7. Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., 15 bass, 48-15
  8. Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 48-12
  9. Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 15 bass, 47-2
  10. Bridgford Foods pro Randy Blaukat, Joplin, Mo., 15 bass, 46-7
  11. James Biggs, Euless, Texas, 15 bass, 46-5, $12,000
  12. Keystone Light pro Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 15 bass, 44-13, $12,000
  13. Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 44-4, $12,000
  14. Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 14 bass, 42-5, $12,000
  15. Lionel Botha, Fort Pierce, Fla., 15 bass, 42-2, $12,000
  16. Brad Knight, Lancing, Tenn., 14 bass, 40-13, $12,000
  17. Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 15 bass, 38-15, $12,000
  18. Shane Lehew, Mooresville, N.C., 13 bass, 38-10, $12,000
  19. Marshall Deakins, Dunlap, Tenn., 13 bass, 38-0, $12,000
  20. Bridgford Foods pro Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 13 bass, 36-2, $12,000

Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Overall there were 92 bass weighing 243 pounds, 14 ounces caught by pros Saturday. 15 professionals weighed in five-bass limits.