BENTON, Ky. – Some of the best local anglers on Kentucky Lake had their shot at the stranger from Alabama today, and one by one they tried to take him down.
But in the end, Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., parried their charges and won the Kentucky Lake EverStart Series Central Division event with a day-four catch of 12 pounds, 4 ounces, which gave him a two-day total of 34 pounds, 14 ounces.
“This feels great,” he said. “I’m known as a flipper, and I wanted to prove that I can do more than flip. So I came here and cranked ledges for five solid days of practice.”
Newton’s primary spot was in a creek about five miles south of Moors Marina on the LBL side where he had located a point that extended off the bank.
“The underwater point was about 8 to 10 feet on top, and it dropped off into about 15 feet of water,” he explained. “But the key feature on the point was a cut in the side of it. I had to hit that one little cut at just the right angle with the crankbait.”
Newton used a combination of deep diving crankbaits (chartreuse with a blue back) fished on 10-pound-test Berkley Sensation line and a Strike King 1/2-ounce jig (black and blue) to catch his fish.
“When they quit hitting the crankbait, sometimes I could get a reaction bite on the jig by hopping it quickly off the bottom,” he added.
Newton was awarded $10,000 plus a fully rigged Ranger for his win. And since he was the owner of a Ranger boat, he took home an additional $10,000.
Most folks would probably be heartbroken to miss winning a tournament by just over a pound, but not Britt Cone of Benton, Ky., who finished second with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 13 ounces.
“I had a super week,” he said. “I practiced with my wife for five days; I managed my water well in the tournament; and I never lost a fish that would have hurt me – I can’t ask anymore of myself than that.”
Cone fished most of the tournament in the middle to northern portion of Kentucky Lake in 12 to 16 feet of water.
He caught a majority of his fish on plum-colored Luck ‘E’ Strike 7-1/2- and 9-1/2-inch Ringworms with a 3/8-ounce sinker tied to 10-pound-test P-Line.
Fans of bass fishing may have heard of the “Fritts’ Blitz,” but what about the “Young’s Run?”
At 2 p.m. today – one hour before check-in – David Young of Mayfield, Ky., had an empty livewell.
“I even called my wife and told her not to come to the weigh-in because I was so embarrassed,” Young admitted.
Then, with just mere minutes left in the fishing day, Young’s Run began. He caught four fish that weighed 14 pounds in about 10 minutes and had to leave them biting for fear of being late.
“Pulling up that trolling motor was the hardest thing to do,” he said. “I wanted to make one more cast so bad, but I figured I’d be late and I didn’t want to risk it.”
He finished third with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 7 ounces.
Young caught most of his fish on two deep-diving crankbaits, a DD-22 and a Lucky Craft Flat CB D-20, in chartreuse and blue colors tied to 10-pound-test P-Line.
“I was fishing both Barkley and Kentucky lakes,” he said. “My fish on Barkley were shallower – 6 to 8 feet – and my fish on Kentucky were real deep – 25 to 35 feet.
Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Ky., finished fourth with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 4 ounces.
“It’s been a great week, and I’d really like to thank my father for teaching me how to fish,” Schroeder said before his hometown crowd. “He has taught me a lot about this lake and about this wonderful sport.”
Schroeder spent most of his week in Barkley Lake fishing depths of 10 to 35 feet with a 1/2-ounce Stanley jig in green pumpkin on 10-pound line.
The biggest comeback of the day went to Rodney Brown of Eddyville, Ky.
Brown started the day in 10th and brought in 15 pounds, 8 ounces to move to fifth with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 4 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Kentucky Lake EverStart are Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., finishing in sixth place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 11 ounces; Drew Lynch of Paducah, Ky., finishing in seventh place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 2 ounces; Shawn Penn of Eddyville, Ky., finishing in eighth place with a two-day total of 20 pounds, 2 ounces; Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., finishing in ninth place with a two-day total of 19 pounds, 14 ounces; and Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., finishing in 10th place with a two-day total of 19 pounds, 4 ounces.
Central Division EverStart Series Angler of the Year
Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., won the points title in the EverStart Central Division with 760 points.