Bassmaster Elites to Converge on Kentucky Lake Next Week

Abu Garcia presents the Berkley Bassmaster Elite on Kentucky Lake May 4-7

Bassmaster Elites to Converge on Kentucky Lake Next Week
Bassmaster Elites to Converge on Kentucky Lake Next Week

Suffice it to say that hopes will run high when the world’s best bass anglers visit Kentucky Lake for the Berkley Bassmaster Elite at Kentucky Lake presented by Abu Garcia May 4-7, but hope won’t be the only high measure on this Tennessee River impoundment. According to local pro Mark Menendez, the big lake’s going to be bigger.

For reference, this 160,300-acre reservoir generates a significant amount of hydroelectric power, courtesy of Kentucky Dam; but the lake’s vast storage capacity also serves to reduce flood crests on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. With snowmelt and heavy spring rains swelling those two systems, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been using Kentucky Lake’s intended design to minimize downstream flooding.

For a time, it looked like Kentucky Lake could be as much as 8- to 10-feet high – a definite game changer that’s not going to happen. The TVA will be steadily dropping the water level throughout the tournament week and Menendez says he’s expecting Kentucky Lake to be closer to summer pool (359 feet) by tournament time.

“When I left home (Paducah, Ky.) on April 22 for the Elite tournament on Grand Lake, Kentucky Lake was at 359 feet and a day later, it was 362 with 145,000 cubic feet per second running through it and it was coming up half an inch an hour,” Menendez said.


“Now, it’s going to be a lot more manageable; it’s going to be 3 feet over summer pool and falling, so we’re going to be able to access the fish. They’re not going to go up in the woods and get away from us like I’d thought with that first forecast.”


Anytime waters rise as much as Kentucky Lake has, the following weeks invariably see some level of lingering impacts. Floating logs and debris pulled from the bank by the water’s reach and retraction, stained from muddy inflows – Elite anglers will see some of this, but the lake’s big enough to find areas of lesser impacts and cooperative fish.

“It should be as premier as Kentucky is ever going to be seen,” Menendez said. “This is best case scenario for us right now. The falling water will be pulling them to the outside edges of the buckbrush, willows and stuff like that.

“Just get a big old jig, a big old stiff rod and some big line and – hand-to-hand combat.”

Menendez said he’s looking for most of the tournament’s productivity to be found south of the Paris Bridge, as more of the lake’s fish historically inhabit this region. Likely patterns include spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits, buzzbaits and, very likely, a lot of sight fishing.


“It should be on,” Menendez said. “It’s time for them to spawn. They spawn the first week of May every year, so it’s dead-on.”

Each angler can weigh his five largest bass each day for a shot at the $100,000 top prize. After two days of full-field competition, the Top 50 anglers will qualify to fish the semi-final round on Saturday. The field will then be cut again to the Top 12 on Sunday’s championship round.

Daily takeoffs will begin each morning at 6 a.m. CT out of Paris Landing Marina (16055 Highway 79 N, Buchanan, Tenn.). Weigh-ins will happen at Paris Landing State Park (400 Lodge Rd., Buchanan, Tenn.) beginning at 3 p.m. each afternoon. Henry County Alliance will be hosting the event.


The Bassmaster Outdoors Expo will be held Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon at Paris Landing State Park.

All activities are free and open to the public. For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them. Reels

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them.

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

          From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find Bass

7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

See More Trending Articles

More News

On this National Day of Mourning after the passing of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, sportsmen look back at his outdoors legacy. News

Outdoors World Mourns Loss of President George H.W. Bush

Lynn Burkhead - December 05, 2018

On this National Day of Mourning after the passing of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st...

After years of close calls and wondering, Ott DeFoe rallies for final day Bassmaster Classic win on his home waters near Knoxville, Tenn. Bass

DeFoe's Time Has Come with Tennessee Classic Win

Lynn Burkhead - March 18, 2019

After years of close calls and wondering, Ott DeFoe rallies for final day Bassmaster Classic...

Fraudulent websites try to hook your personal information. News

States Warn of Online Fishing License Scam

Game & Fish Digital Staff - January 28, 2020

Fraudulent websites try to hook your personal information.

Catch-and-release still permitted, but harvest and possession are not. News

Florida Orders Halt to Keeping Shoal Bass from Chipola

G&F Online Staff - June 07, 2019

Catch-and-release still permitted, but harvest and possession are not.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.