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Shadcranker

My Elite Series report (KY Lake)

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Got to the State park Wed afternoon for the registration, and it was really cool milling around with the touring pros for a couple of hours. The dinner was really fun, and we were all in the room together. The pros were really nice and down to earth.

I must say I was blown away by how nice and personable Ike is. He looks you in the eye, asks about where your from and is happy to tlk to you. He definitely has the personal charisma and people skills to do his job. He signed a Diawa hat for my son, who was thrilled to get it.

The pairings were not kind to me, although both of my pros were great guys. First day I drew David Sherrer from LA. He is a 50 something yr old rookie, who just kind of fell into the Elite deal via the Wildcard tourney in FL last year. He had never seen KY Lake prior to the first practice day on Monday, so he was limited to what he found in a short practice period. Unfortunatley, co-anglers could not provide any info or I'm sure I could have helped him. I had been on Barkley the last three weekends, and had some good fish located. Oh well.

He did find one good ledge on KY Lake, and we probably caught 15 fish in a couple of hours with around 4 small keepers for him and one for me. He also found some fish on the North end of Barkley, and we caught around 20 up there, he rounded out his limit, culled one fish, and I caught one more keeper for the show.

At the end of the day, I found myself in 88th place (3 3/4 lbs), with a big hill to climb to make the cut for Saturday. I figured I would need around 13-14 lbs on Friday to make the cut. My pro ended day one around 95th place with a small limit.

When we got in, we waited for a while in the weigh in line with a lot of big sacks including Paul Elias' 6 fish sack (they threw out a 6 lb smallie!- ouch).

They had posted the day two pairings, and I had drawn Russ Lane from AL for day 2. He had struggled on day one, and only had four keepers, but he was around some decent fish and had lost a couple of toads on Thursday, so I was somewhat hopeful I could whack a good sack. We ran about 50 miles South on KY Lake to TN and the Paris / Big Sandy area (my home waters!). When we hit the Hwy 79 bridge I noticed about 30 boats just sitting under the bridge?? 5 minutes later I figured out why they were there. Right after we sat down on our first ledge, a red-black Nitro came screaming by with his fan club of those 30 boats in tow (yep-KVD). 5 minutes later, Russ said "here comes our helper", and Ish and his co-angler arrived on our spot. He and Russ were sharing the ledge, but the bad thing for me is that Ish pulled up about 25 ft directly to my right, and he and Russ were both casting straight ahead to the sweet spot, and unless I wanted to cross Ish, I just had to watch. They each caught a keeper on a jig, and then we left to go to a shallow grass pattern Russ was on. He was throwing a swimming jig, and I decided to thrwo a Zell Pop off the edges of the grass. Russ caught 2 more keepers, and I caught two keepers around the grass, so I had around 5 1/2 lbs of my 13-14 needed.

After that, we headed back out to another ledge near where we started. Russ pulled two more smallish keepers off the ledge on a jig, and I lost a keeper on the big jig. Then, about 20 minutes later, my line took off, and a 5 lbr was on my football jig. I set the hook hard, and she came right in. So, now I'm up to 10 1/2 lbs with around three more hours to either finish out my limit and make it or catch another big one and I'm in. I'm feeling pretty good at this point, but mother nature had other plans for us. The winds kicked up to around 25 MPH ahead of a storm, and we were sunk on the ledge pattern. We decided to go ahead and make the long run back North before the lake got too rough (it was aweful as it was).

It took us well over an hour to get back to the dam area, and that left us around an hour and a half to chunk and wind. Russ decided to run back in a creek arm and take advantage of the cloud cover and cover water with a topwater bait. We were both throwing pop-r type baits, and between us we caught around 15 more. Russ upgraded his limit a bit, but unfortunately, none of the six or so I caught would measure.

I ended the day with 3 keepers at 10.5 lbs, and Russ had a small limit of around 10.75 lbs.

So, when it was all said and done, I ended up in 60th, missing the cut by around 3 1/2 lbs.

My pros ended up 100th and 103rd respectively (out of 107). So, I guess I did ok to finish 60th on the co-angler side, considering where my two pros ended up. I'd venture to say, few, if any co-anglers drew pros both days in the 100+ club.

It was still a great experince. Both pros treated me well, and if they continue to have co-anglers, I will try to do one per year.

My roomate for the week and buddy in my club tied for 10th. He had Mark Davis, Bryan Snowden, and Byron Velvick.

Later-

SC

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Nice story Rob! Thanks for sharing. Had to be an awesome experience. Nice job on that last day. You'll catch em' up next time!

CJ

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Thanks for the post!!

I would like to know......

What did you learn from the experience?

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Thanks for the post!!

I would like to know......

What did you learn from the experience?

1. I learned that those guys are darn good.

2. It's a tough job they have, and most of them are under immense pressure to make a check.

3. I learned a new jig swimming tecnique for grass.

4. I learned that I do not want to fish professionally for a living. Too little sleep, too much travel, and I'm afraid it would ruin someting I really enjoy. Not to worry here, I couldn't compete with those guys anyway.

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Excellent reading.

A good friend of Burley and myself are gonna try and get in at least one next year as a co-angler. Still trying to talk Burley into putting in with us, with him it would be 5 of us putting in and 2 o us should get in at least once to split the travel expenses and such.

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Great post!

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the event.

8-)

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