Pro Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 29 pounds even – the heaviest limit ever weighed at Kentucky Lake in FLW Tour competition – to win the Walmart FLW Tour at Kentucky Lake presented by Mercury Marine. Lambert’s four-day total weight of 20 bass for 97-2 gave him the victory by a 7-pound, 12-ounce margin over second place pro Brandon Hunter of Benton, Kentucky, in the tournament that featured 162 of the best professional bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for the top cash award of $125,000.
“Today was one of those days when everything just came together perfect,” said Lambert, the 2014 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, now in his third season. “I culled two fish that were over 5 pounds today. That has never happened to me before. I’ve said for years, Kentucky Lake is the best ledge-fishing tournament lake in the country. This week has been magical.”
Lambert said that his key bait on the first two days of competition was a Castaic Heavy Metal Flutter Spoon, but he also caught a couple of largemouth on a V&M J-Mag Worm. He made what he called a tactical decision and switched to a 7-inch green shad-colored Castaic Jerky J Swimbait to catch most of his fish on the final two days of competition.
“On the last two days, there is no co-angler to help net our fish,” Lambert said. “That swimbait is a single hook, and the chances of losing a fish are way, way less than the chances of losing one on a spoon or a crankbait. That factored a lot into my decision to throw the swimbait the last two days.
“I really figured out a cadence – the right speed and the depth range to run it in,” Lambert continued. “But, if there was a key for me this week, it was my Garmin electronics.”
Lambert said that he had around 60 different schools of fish marked on a 75-mile run down the Tennessee River from Kentucky Dam, and that the schools got bigger as the tournament progressed.
“There is so many fish in this entire lake, you can fish everywhere. I knew from the way that the schools were getting bigger that the opportunity was there for me to absolutely crush them today, and it worked out.”
The top 10 pros finished the tournament:
1st: Jason Lambert, Pickwick Dam, Tenn., 20 bass, 97-2, $125,000
2nd: Brandon Hunter, Benton, Ky., 20 bass, 89-6, $30,000
3rd: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 20 bass, 80-4, $25,000
4th: Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 20 bass, 79-5, $20,000
5th: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 20 bass, 78-1, $19,000
6th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 77-6, $18,000
7th: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 20 bass, 76-13, $17,000
8th: Brad Knight, Lancing, Tenn., 20 bass, 76-13, $16,500
9th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 20 bass, 76-6, $15,000
10th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 20 bass, 70-12, $14,000
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Overall there were 50 bass weighing 212 pounds, 10 ounces caught by pros Sunday. All of the final 10 pros weighed in five-bass limits.
Mark Horton of Nicholasville, Kentucky, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 8 ounces, followed by Kevin King of Blountville, Tennessee, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 6 ounces worth $7,500.