Chandler Leads Stren Bass Fishing Tournament on Kentucky Lake
BENTON, Ky. (April 30, 2008) - Pro Ryan Chandler of Hobart, Ind., caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 12 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Central Division bass fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake.
"I'm fishing for prespawn fish in deep water," said Chandler, who has had four top-10 tournament finishes in FLW Outdoors events on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. "I'm running really far south, and if the wind blows, it's going to be a problem, but I have a backup plan."
Chandler had success prefishing last week, but had to change his technique when it stopped working on Saturday.
"I'm hoping with the water warming up, I can go back to catching them shallow."
Rounding out the top five pros are Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn. (five bass, 18-06); Nate Wellman of Jenison, Mich. (five bass, 17-01); Jason Weast of Camdenton, Mo. (five bass, 16-14); and Ramie Colson Jr. of Cadiz, Ky. (five bass, 16-10).
Stephen Smith of Glenwood, Ark., earned $295 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 7-pound bass he caught flipping a Brush Hog.
Overall there were 670 bass weighing 1,775 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 199 pros Wednesday. The catch included 83 five-bass limits.
Joey Rogers of Mayfield, Ky., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 18-02 while fishing with pro Kenneth Woods of Hazard, Ky., who is currently in 84th place.
"I'll have to depend on my boater tomorrow," Rogers said. "I feel very pleased after today and feel good about tomorrow."
Rogers caught prewspawn fish along the bank, but remained tight-lipped about any specific baits he used.
"You had to have gravel or chunk rock at the bank to catch them," Rogers admitted. "You also had to have some deep water."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Joe Waggoner of Carthage, Mo. (five bass, 15-14); Michael Radake of Cape Girardeau, Mo. (five bass, 15-11); Roger Heltsley of Greenville, Ky. (four bass, 14-13); and Brian Futch of Goreville, Ill. (five bass, 13-11).
Rogers earned $148 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 10-ounce bass.
Overall there were 341 bass weighing 855 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 199 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 20 five-bass limits.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Moors Resort & Marina located at 570 Moors Resort & Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 310 West Main St. in Benton, Ky., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.