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By Steve McCadams 

    Not many bass anglers around here are accustomed to stalking the waters of Kentucky Lake this time of year. A few diehards do at times but for the most part, locals have parked the boat deep in the garage, stored the tackle in hibernation and taken to the deer woods or a duck blind somewhere.

    For others accustomed to the competition from other fellow fishermen and Mother Nature it’s just another week on another lake.

    When soaking rains and cold temperatures moved across western Tennessee earlier this week, people wondered how the changing weather would affect fishing in the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship on Kentucky Lake.
    On Wednesday at Paris Landing State Park, Ken Thompson and Brad Weese provided the answer.
    Though the duo has only fished together less than a year, they looked like lifelong partners. The team from the Angler’s Choice Team Trail boated a five-bass limit that totaled 24 pounds, 10 ounces and gave them a solid lead after the opening round of the national team championship.
    Weese, who is from Petersburg, W.Va., caught the two biggest bass of their creel; each weighed approximately 6 1/2 pounds. Thompson, of Raysburg, Pa., provided the rest of the weight with a 4-pounder and two 3 1/2-pound bass.  They didn’t catch many fish in practice rounds when the weather was extremely disagreeable, but found three spots today that lit up after they ditched their initial fishing area earlier in the morning.
    “We complement each other in that we both like fishing the same style,” Thompson said. “If I’m doing something, I know he can do it. And if he has something working, I can fish the same way. We’ll hit those same spots tomorrow. There are fish out there.”
    Thompson and Weese comprised one of only four two-person teams weighing-in more than 20 pounds of bass on Wednesday. Mark McCaig and Tim Hurst of the Sylacauga Big Bucks Buddy Trail in Alabama are in second place with a limit of 22-8. They are closely followed by Ty Faber and John Gardner of the Ultimate Bass Team Trail in Colorado, third with 22-0, and Derrick and Dustin Compton of the (South) Carolina Bass Challenge Team are fourth with 20-3.
   In all, 159 of the 186 teams registered in the Bassmaster Team Championship caught at least one bass today, and 58 of them had limits.
    Surprisingly, Faber and Gardner, who currently are in third place, were without a limit. They caught four bass on all day, two of which came among their first casts of the day. One of the throws boated a 6-10 lunker to boost the bag.
    “This is our first time here, so we don’t know the lake at all,” Gardner said. “So this was good fishing for us today. There were a lot of fish (on our spot,) and we literally stayed on it all day.”
    With 160,000 acres to explore, Kentucky Lake offers plenty of territory for anglers to cover. But Faber and Gardner may have found what some pundits said would be the key to success in this tournament — a spot that replenishes itself throughout the day.
   “When you don’t have another spot to go to, you stay where you are,” Faber joked.
    McCaig and Hurst had the big bass of the day — an 8-3 lunker that Hurst said was caught on a crankbait following the shad bite on Kentucky Lake. Both men said they didn’t catch much in practice, but felt like it would take at least 20 pounds a day to make the cut after Thursday’s action.
    “This is the Tennessee River, so you know it’s going to take a good weight to win,” McCaig said. “The first place we started today, we caught an 8-pounder, then a 4-pounder. So why leave?”
    “We had three spots in mind, we hit one, and it produced,” Hurst said. “Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
    Rain Monday and Tuesday gave way to partly cloudy skies, 50 degree air temperatures, and slack winds on Wednesday. Conditions are supposed to be significantly colder the rest of the week.
    The Top 3 teams will qualify for the Bassmaster Team Championship Classic Fish-Off to be held on Friday and Saturday, also on Kentucky Lake. In that event, each angler fishes individually, teammate against teammate. The competitor who brings in the heaviest daily catches will earn the final available space in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic when it is held in March on Lake Conroe outside of Houston, Texas.
    This week’s event marks the third year B.A.S.S. has held a team championship. The tournament is composed of winning pairs from team trails throughout the U.S. that are sanctioned by B.A.S.S.
    In all, 194 teams from 31 states and one Canadian province are represented. The Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship is hosted by the Henry County Alliance.


The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) is headed to Kentucky and Barkley lakes Oct. 13-15 for the third of six BFL regional championships scheduled around the country. The three-day tournament, which is presented by Mercury, will feature the top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers from each of the Buckeye, Great Lakes, Illini and Michigan divisions.

The winning boater will receive a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower outboard and a check for $20,000, while the winning co-angler will receive a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower outboard. The top six boaters and co-anglers at each regional will advance to one of the longest-running championships in bass fishing – the BFL All-American.


The 22nd annual Austin Peay State University Governors Bass Tournament is less than two months away.

This year’s edition will be held Saturday, May 14, at Kentucky Lake, with registration and boat launching from Paris Landing, Tenn., State Park. Last season’s tourney drew more than 200 boats.

More than $12,000 dollars in prize money will be awarded. Previously, the Top 25 places earned cash prizes but now only the Top 10 places will gain monetary awards, meaning greater cash payouts, respectively, for those positions. A guaranteed first-place prize of $5,000 will be awarded—that has not changed. Second-place, however, is now $2,000, with third ($1,500) and fourth ($1,000) and fifth ($750). Sixth-through-10th place each will receive $400. In addition, $2,000 will be awarded in door prizes.

The tourney will begin 6 a.m., May 14, although all contestants must be checked in between 4-5:30 a.m., with a mandatory meeting on the water at 5:45 a.m. Pre-registration entry fee is $110 per boat (two people per boat), $125 after noon, Friday, May 13.

Fishing with artificial baits only is authorized with no motor trolling allowed. A five-fish limit per boat exists.

The Governors Club will serve sausage biscuits prior to the tournament and hamburgers and hot dogs at weigh-in.

Weigh in will begin at 2:30 p.m. and boats launching will take place in order of postmark of entry form. Only largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass measuring 15 inches (with mouth closed) will be weighed.

Last year, the team of Jeffery Archie and Zach Parker, of Paris, captured the $5,000 first-place prize with a five-fish weigh-in of 26.06. The haul surpassed the team of Steven Hudson (Erin) and Micah Smith (Tennessee Ridge), who brought in 22.64 pounds of bass.

Bill Lyons (Vanleer) and Dennis Black (Dickson), was third with a catch of 22.01 pounds.

Peyton Gibbs (Dickson) walked away with the grand door prize of $2,000.

For the entry form and more information, stop by the APSU University Advancement office or call (931) 221-7352 or (931) 221-7127, between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. After business hours, call (931) 279-0905 or (931) 624-2909. In addition, all this information, including the entry form, is available at the APSU athletics web site: or


Predicted near-perfect conditions turned into anything but. However, that didn’t deter the husband and wife team of Frank and Connie Fisher of Clarksville, from braving the cool, windy conditions and choppy water to capture the 22nd APSU tournament last Saturday on Kentucky Lake.

The Fishers took home the $5,000 first-place check by hauling a five-bass catch of 25.28 pounds, nearly three pounds more than second-place David Daniel/Joey Rumsey (Waverly), who had a 22.31 pound catch. As a result, they took home $2,000.

A total of 187 boats competed during the day for a total of $12,000 in prize money.



Registration is underway for the Seventh Annual Wounded Soldier Bass Tournament to be held at Paris Landing on Saturday, May 7.

The tournament format will be a 3-fish limit with a guaranteed first prize of $2,000 based on 150 boats.

The cost of the tournament is $180 per boat (two anglers maximum). Registration after May 1 increases to $225.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency serves as one of the sponsors of the event. The tournament is presented by Triton Gold.

To register for the event or for more information, contact



Kentucky Lake bass anglers thriving on competition can kick off the season on Sunday, March 6 when the American Bass Anglers Division 32 tournament series begins. The series will offer seven tournaments out of Paris Landing State Park marina consisting of two tournaments in the months of March, April and May. One event will be held in early June.

Parisian Houston McSwain is tournament director. Entry fee is $70 with a $5 big bass pot. Anglers can enter on the morning of the event. For additional information and tournament dates contact McSwain at 615-405-0043.


The second tournament in the American Bass Angler series out of Paris Landing State Park saw anglers battling a nasty cold front and brisk north winds.

Taking the top spot was Eric Foister of Clarksville for a 5-fish limit weighing 15.99 pounds. Second place went to Brian Choate of Burns with a limit weighing 15.25 pounds.

Big bass of the day was a 5.35 pound largemouth taken by Foister with Andy Tyler of Paris landing the second big fish with one weighing 5.28 pounds.

The next open event is April 2nd also out of PLSP. For entry info contact tourney director Houston McSwain at 615-405-0043.


The prestigious FLW bass tournament trail announced its 2016 schedule and Kentucky Lake will be one of six stops next year.

From Florida to New York, a lot of bass fishing’s top pros participate. Dates of the Kentucky Lake tournament will be June 9-12. The event will be headquartered out of Gilbertsville and hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention and Tourism bureau.



The Two Rivers Bass Club of Henry County will host the annual Paul Steele and Johnny Johnson Memorial Bass Tournament on Kentucky Lake out of Paris Landing State Park marina.

 Mac Brown, 135 Brown Lane, Paris, TN. 38242.


To register for the event or for more information, go to the Foundation website at or contact Todd Spann (615) 642-6670 or email



 American Couples Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Kentucky Division 8 tournament.

For additional information call tournament director Jeff Archie at 731-336-4938.

All ABA American Couples Series events involve a team format with each team composed of one man and one woman. Although many married couples compete together as teams, some teams consist of boyfriend and girlfriend combinations, parent-child combinations or just two friends. Contestants between 14 and 18 years old may participate with a parent’s written permission.

For more information, call ABA at (888) 203-6222 or view the website at For information pertaining to the Kentucky Lake Couples, please visit their Facebook page or call 731-336-4938.


It’s probably the biggest bass tournament of the year on Kentucky Lake in terms of total boat participation.

For entry form and more information call (931) 221-7352 or log onto APSU athletics web site:


 BFL on Facebook at and on Twitter at


For more information call ABA at (888) 203-6222 or log onto


The American Bass Anglers tournament series

For information Archie at 731-336-4938.


Henry County based Two Rivers Bass Club
 For information contact Bob Hehn at

Two Rivers Bass Club of Paris host The Annual Paul Steele and Johnny Johnson Memorial buddy bass tournament For additional info contact Mac Brown at 731-642-3067


The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail is a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry whose mission is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to fishermen and their families through competitive and professionally run fishing tournaments.

Several divisions make up the tournament series and the Tennessee west division will hold events  on  Kentucky Lake out of Paris Landing State Park.

For entry information anglers can log onto or call tournament director Billy Cooper at 731-926-6919.


Jeff and Stephanie Archie of Paris will serve as tournament directors for a bass tournament series here on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes that caters to couples. Seven separate events will be held this spring with six tournaments going out of Paris Landing State Park and one event on Barkley Lake out of Dover.

For additional information on the local division contact the Archies at 731-336-4938 or log onto

Sportsman's Digest Pro Team Trail

KLOT Division


For more information about the trail please contact:

Sportmens Digest
Randy Sullivan
1470 Oak Grove Church Road
Mayfield, KY 42066
Mark Shelton (Groucho)
after 5:00 pm






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