Ultimate Bass

Mansfield wins Kentucky Lake opener

Scott Mansfield padded his checkbook after winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Kentucky Division 15 season opener, held March 12, 2011, on Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville.

The McKenzie, Tenn., angler landed five bass weighing 17.62 pounds to win the Boater Division and $2,603. He anchored his bag with a 5.90-pound mossback that captured the tournament big bass title and netted Mansfield another $290. He also collected a hefty Triton Gold bonus.

“The fish were scattered,” Mansfield said. “I just caught one here and one there. I ran all the way down to New Johnsonville. The water was a little dirty at the south end of the lake. I caught the fish on a Strike King Series 5 crankbait in chartreuse sexy shad. The big fish hit at about 10:30 a.m.”

The anglers launched at the Kentucky Dam State Park. Kentucky Lake spreads over 160,300 acres along the Tennessee River and connects with the 57,900-acre Lake Barkley on the Cumberland River. Also making the long run in the 84-mile long lake, David Gnewikow of Mount Juliet, Tenn., fished near New Johnsonville too. He brought in a tournament limit of five keepers weighing 15.61 pounds. He added $1,302 to his wallet.

“I caught one on a Strike King Series 5, two on a spinnerbait and two on a shaky head,” Gnewikow admitted. “I had two patterns. One was a little deeper. I caught the spinnerbait fish shallow.”

In third for the boaters, Sam Boss of Paducah, Ky., brought in five big ones for 15.30 pounds, including a 5.19-pound kicker. In fourth, Brent Anderson of Kingston Springs, Tenn., landed five bass going 14.70 pounds, followed by Jeff Taylor of Olmstead, Ky., with five bass for 14.37 pounds.

In the Co-Angler Division, Malvin Steger of Altenburg, Mo., won with three bass going 10.09 pounds. He padded his margin of victory with a 4.11-pounder and earned $1,302.

“I caught about 10 bass and so did my boater,” Steger said. “We didn’t really have a good pattern. We had to scramble to find fish. We ran to from point to point and tried all kinds of different stuff. I mostly threw a jerkbait. The shorter fish were off the bank, but the bigger fish were staying as close to the bank as they could.”

In second for the co-anglers, Jason Smith of Union, Ky., only brought in two fish, but he made them count. He finished with 8.83 pounds, but his 5.56-pounder took division lunker honors. For second, he collected $651 with a $145 bonus for the bucketmouth.

“The big one was my second fish,” Smith said. “I caught both of them early. The big one hit at about 7:45 a.m. Both fish came within six or seven casts and each hit a Smithwick Rattling Rogue close to the bank. We fished back in a creek.”

Jeff Risley of Paducah, Ky., took third with a three-bass division limit weighing 8.65 pounds. He pocketed $434.

“My boater and I both threw the same thing,” Risley said. “He caught a bunch of fish. I caught about six fish, but only three keepers. They all came on bright jerkbaits.”

Kenneth Heckel of Lamar, Ind., landed two keepers for 7.01 pounds. Jayme Grundy of Greenville, Ky., placed fifth among the co-anglers with three bass at 7 pounds.

For more information, call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.

About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.

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