2013 KBF State Championship at Lake Cumberland in Review
by Steven Taylor
The festivities started out with a great Awards Banquet at The Aspire Center Sponsored in part by Wayne County & Judge Executive Greg Rankin, Conley Bottom Resort, Lake Cumberland Pro Bass/Greg, and Eagle One Boat Wax/Jason Abney. The High School Fishing Team from Wayne County assisted in preparing the Banquet and there was an abundance of food for everyone.
Awards were handed out for points winners of the 4 divisions and the qualifiers for the Angler of the Year competition were announced as well. Jr Keown, one of my salesman, had his name drawn out for the Lowrance HDS8 raffle that was put on to raise funds for the purchase of the new weigh-in scales for each division. Thanks to everyone for their participation.
Saturday morning started off cloudy and cold and my fish were not biting. I had located some shallow fish but most were 12′ to 20′ deep in log jams. In hindsight the several days of cloud cover had moved the fish shallow and I did not adjust. I finally moved shallow late in the morning to the back of a pocket and managed to catch a keeper black on top water. What I failed to realize is that the fish were there I just had to stay with them to get them to bite.
At the weigh in on the first day it was obvious that several competitors had found the shallow fish and they were biting. Karou O’Bryan led the way with a limit of blacks that tipped the scales at 12.42 lbs followed by Wes Cole with 9.65 lbs and Scott Jones with 9.39 lbs. The 7th place cut was 6.32 so even with my measly 1.91 lbs I was still in the hunt. Karou had told me on Friday night that he was catching them on a buzzbait in the backs of the creeks but I hate listening to “Dock Talk” so I refused to adjust. My hardheadedness would prove to be my downfall.
Sunday we arrived at the ramp to fog so thick you could wave it with your hand. After a 2 1/2 hour delay John Dixon, KBF President started letting us go at 10:00. We were due in at 4 and with the run I was making it was going to be a short day.
I started in the pocket where I caught my keeper the day before and immediately had two fish roll on my white buzzbait but would not eat it. Switched to my black one and had a keeper on my second cast. After 30 minutes with no bites and the sun shining bright I switched to plastic on a hump. The first bush I flipped I lost a good one. Next cast to the open area between bushes I lost another keeper that I saw. After that I started letting them run for 4 or 5 feet before setting the hook and did not lose any more. Had two more keepers and 15 or 20 shorts in the next 2 hours.
My intent was to stay in that area for the rest of the day after catching those 3 keepers. Bass were still busting shad every now and then so I knew they were there. Don Thomlinson came in and I saw him catch two line burners that did not make the 15″ limit on a swim jig but my hard head would not change up and duplicate what he was doing. I got impatient and left to fish my deep logs. No bites. Don caught two more keepers in there and made the State Team. I managed to have the 3rd highest weight for the second day but needed another 1.5 lbs to make the State Team.
Karou only had one keeper the second day but it was enough to take top honors in the event, his first every KBF win. Great job of figuring out the fish Bud. Brian Hickey, who had just two fish the first day, came in with 4 on day 2 that tipped the scales at 8.52lbs moving him into second place overall and the Angler of the Year crown. Brian is also our 2014 KBF representative for the TBF Nationals in April. Brian is on a roll to say the least.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our Sponsors for the 2013 year and, most importantly, the 2013 State Championship. The good people of Monticello KY were gracious hosts and I really look forward to going back again.
Congratulations to all the 2014 KBF State Team members.
I would love to be fishing Neely Henry [June 1 thru June 6, 2014] with you guys in June but the cards did not fall that way. When you get down there any of you that can take a day and get in the boat with Brian or Karou. It will be a free guide trip and you will learn more in a day with either of these guys than you can imagine. Enjoy the trip