PARIS, Tenn. — The team of Trevor McKinney and Dailus Richardson from Benton, IL took the top spot from Day 1 and 2 on Kentucky Lake.
After weighing the Mud Hole Heavyweight bag on the first day of competition (20-14), they backed it up with a strong 16 pounds and three ounces today.
These Illinois anglers used standard baits for fishing ledge lakes, but their approach was different than the norm. They targeted bridge pilings just outside of Paris Landing with 10-inch worms and jigs.
"Early in the morning was really slow compared to later in the afternoon,” said Dailus Richardson. “Usually after our halftime break things would pick up.”
The 15-minute halftime breaks are mandatory in high school events and many teams use that break to eat some food and gameplan for what to do next. On Day 1 the halftime break was crucial to McKinney and Richardson’s big day and figuring out a good pattern.
“On Day 1 (during the break) we completely changed what we were doing,” said Richardson.
Day 2 needed less game-planning because they stayed around their bridge pilings all day and never left the area.
Even though they beat second place by over five pounds they can't use that for tomorrow. The weights have reset and now the final 30 boats are back at square one as they head to Carroll County Recreation Lake for Days 3 and 4 of competition.
The second place team of Connor Farrington and Cameron Sterritt from Exeter High School in New Hampshire went shallow and cashed in on the big bites close to the bank.
Farrington and Sterritt, like the leaders, caught their fish on a big 10-inch worm and a jig.
"We started fishing shallow and got our limit and then we would go out to the points to try and get some big fish," said Cameron Sterritt.
On the first day of competition Farrington and Sterritt fished their strengths and it paid off as they boated two fish over four pounds while fishing shallow docks.
When they targeted shallow areas, they did so with a 10-inch worm, but when fishing deeper they switched to a jig and a shakey head. They fished slow and steady, as the fish were not concentrated on one particular thing.
“[Fish catches] were spread out,” said Farrington. “We never caught fish back to back. It was usually a good amount of time in between fish.”
Carroll County Recreational Lake provides some challenges for anglers as they will fish a completely different fishery than that of Kentucky Lake. Fishing should still be just fine as the size limit is only 12 inches at Carroll County compared to the 15-inch measurements at Kentucky. Limits should be easier to come by as a result.
Kentucky Lake showed its tough side as only 10 teams brought a five fish limit to the scales on Day 2, compared to 18 on the first day of competition.
Ryan Wood and Adam Deakin weighed in only four fish today, but their 11 pounds and two ounces were enough to keep them in the top 3. Their two-day weight was 31 pounds and 10 ounces.
The team of Jake Lee and Jacob Mashburn from Clinton, Tenn. brought 11 pounds to the scales and they will launch in the fourth slot tomorrow. They changed up their gameplan from yesterday and they went shallow once they realized the deep fish were not cooperating. As a result, they caught their Day 2 weight by using a square bill crankbait.
A big jump of the day was from the team of Rashaad Goodson and Steven Younginer who went from 19th up into the top-5. The South Carolina team weighed in 16 pounds and two ounces and caught their fish in very shallow water throwing green pumpkin jigs.