Kentucky Lake Bass Fishing League Regional Championship 20 Oct 2018
TENNESSEE’S PICKETT GOES WIRE-TO-WIRE, WINS T-H MARINE FLW BASS FISHING LEAGUE REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON KENTUCKY LAKE PRESENTED BY EVINRUDE
Mississippi’s Ladnier Takes Co-angler Title
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2018) – Boater Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tennessee, caught a three-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes presented by Evinrude. Pickett earned $65,000 for his efforts, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 BFL All-American Championship.
“The goal was to make the All-American. This makes No. 7 for me,” said Pickett, who earned his sixth win in FLW competition. “I’ve been second and third a couple times in these Regionals, and it’s always a back-breaker. So to win this, it feels real good.”
Pickett targeted bass on main-lake gravel bars, secondary points and secondary pockets to catch his fish.
“If you found the shad, you got bit, but if you found the skipjack, you caught big ones,” said Pickett. “I fished some gravel bars out on the main lake, and when that wasn’t happening, I fished secondary points in the creeks.”
The winning spots, all located around the Paris, Tenn., area, varied from about 1 to 7 feet deep.
“I had eight holes that had fish on them,” said Pickett. “I only hit two the first day, three yesterday [Friday], and I hit two today [Saturday]. I only re-fished one spot each day, but I didn’t really catch much on it.”
The speed at which he fished allowed Pickett to get by with so few spots while many of his competitors fished dozens of places a day. Limiting his travel between spots was also part of a strategy to make the most of his competition time after making the long run south and dealing with high winds.
“When you run that far down there, you burn two hours [round trip], and when you [use a] Carolina rig as slow as I do, I can burn three hours just like that,” said Pickett.
He dragged his Carolina rig about as slow as possible and milked each spot for all it had, not changing locations until he was no longer seeing any bass or bait.
Pickett’s Carolina rig was baited with a Zoom Brush Hog in green pumpkin, watermelon candy or blueberry (black with purple fleck) on a 4/0-sized Gamakatsu EWG hook. Occasionally, he mixed in another creature bait. Pickett used a 3- to 5-foot-long leader of 12-pound-test Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon line connected to 15-pound-test XPS main line and added a couple of glass beads – for extra sound – between his swivel and either a 3/4- or 1-ounce weight. The Tennessean used a custom Muddy River Rods model 714.
Other than dragging painfully slow, the biggest key to Pickett’s presentation was to keep it natural.
“I like to get off the side of the point and throw over the end of the point,” said Pickett. “If there’s current, I’ll pull with the current. If I’m fishing a secondary pocket with wind blowing in, I come around and pull with the wind the way the shad would be coming. On gravel bars, I just throw as far as I can.”
The top six boaters that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Lloyd Pickett Jr., Bartlett, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-12, $65,000
2nd: John Devries, Fishers, Ind., seven bass, 30-1, $10,200
3rd: Doug Ruster, New Palestine, Ind., nine bass, 29-1, $5,000
4th: Nick Uebelhor, Jasper, Ind., 10 bass, 26-11, $3,100
5th: Rich Fye, Galveston, Ind., eight bass, 25-10, $2,000
6th: Ken Garbe, Wyoming, Ohio, seven bass, 23-5, $1,800
Rounding out the top-10 boaters were:
7th: Frank McClain, Scottsburg, Ind., six bass, 22-1, $1,600
8th: Daniel Houser, Washington Township, Mich., eight bass, 21-10, $1,400
9th: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., seven bass, 19-12, $1,200
10th: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., seven bass, 19-1, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Brent Ladnier of Wiggins, Mississippi, won the Co-angler Division and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard with a three-day cumulative catch of six bass weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2019 BFL All-American were:
1st: Brent Ladnier, Wiggins, Miss., six bass, 22-8, $45,000
2nd: Carl Breeden, Valley Park, Mo., five bass, five bass, 14-10, $5,200
3rd: Leroy Miller, Napoleon, Ohio, two bass, 8-2, $2,500
4th: Jacob Sloan, Paola, Kan., two bass, 8-7, $1,550
5th: Daniel Dumais, Trenton, Mich., three bass, 9-12, $1,000
6th: Ryan Helbling, Martinsville, Ind., four bass, 10-8, $900
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:
7th: Joshua Shinault, Baldwyn, Miss., four bass, 10-6, $800
8th: Steve Garman, Dayton, Ohio, three bass, 9-15, $700
9th: Dan O’Neil, Canton, Mich., two bass, 9-2, $600
10th: Justin Kivett, Indianapolis, Ind., three bass, 9-2, $500
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake presented by Evinrude was hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.