My wife picked me up from the airport on June 5th at 7:00PM, We arrived home at 8:00PM where we met a friend who agreed to tow my boat to KY Lake for me since my truck was being used for an Omega event on Grand Lake in Grove, Oklahoma. After loading all my gear in my boat and packing my suite case I think I finally laid my head down at midnight. I set my alarm for 0430AM. No sooner than my head hit the pillow my alarm jolted me out of my sleepless stupor. Later I would figure out that I had messed up the clock on my phone and I actually got up at 3:30AM. Coffee in hand, we were off to Kentucky Lake.
When the schedule came out I wasn’t thrilled to see this stop. I haven’t spent much time on KY lake and I certainly wouldn’t consider myself an expert on the KY Lake ledges. I actually felt quite the contrary. We arrived at the lake around 0800 and took off to find those mega schools of 6lber’s. Getting to the first spot I realize I left my KY Mapping card for my Hummingbird back in Missouri. No contour lines at all…..yep, that one stung a little. I had six or seven GPS points to checkout but for the most part the 12 hours spent on the water that day was a bust. We did catch a few fish and shook a few off but I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t get on something. I picked up a new chip for my graphs and Wednesday was spent idling the miles and miles of endless ledges. We never really found any schools with any size. With the tournament starting the the following day all I had to show for my efforts was one 4 lber and a few short fish on a small ledge outside a main bay.
210 boat field and I draw boat one…If I ever DIDN’T need boat one it was here. I literally had no place to go but we were off to the one place I had a few bites. After a long day of fighting the trolling motor in the waves, soaking feet from the water washing over the bow of the boat and the severely sunburned legs (we don’t wear shorts overseas so my legs hadn’t seen sun in a very long time) I came in with ZERO fish to weigh in.
It’s really hard to describe that feeling. Saying I was disappointed just doesn’t do it justice not for me but for the people that support me. This was the first time my wife has ever attended an event with me. I was the first boat back into the weigh-in location. She was there waiting on me as I pulled up the the bank she enthusiastically asked my how I did. I’m pretty sure my voice cracked a little when I told her I had no fish. Next up was the tournament director Ron Lappin. Ron has always been a big supporter as he is for all the guys that fish his event. Ron is a patriot and I know he pulls a little extra for the veteran’s fishing his events. Ron saw me pull up and grabbed a couple weigh in bags and headed my way. I know my voice cracked this time, “no fish Ron….I zeroed.” Ron’s look of excitement about me kicking off his weigh in turned to one of empathy. He’s fished enough to know how bad this hurts.
“No fish…I zeroed” would be repeated throughout the day and the evening as fellow anglers, friends, family and co-workers from around the world would check in to see how I had done on day one. It made it hard to put it behind me and focus on day two. I know the fish are out there…the leader board was polluted with the usual suspects…. Jason Lambert “The Hammer” lead after day one.
Day two was more of the same. I actually caught a few fish shallow but never got on a ledge bites at all. I spent the better part of the day idling the ledges looking for that magical spot that never appeared.
As I made the long idle past the check in boat it hit me hard that this would be my worst finish ever!! I went zero, zero on KY lake in June. My wife drove 3 hours after having a fairly significant medical procedure to see me fish for the first time. My dear friend Tabby drove three hours out of her way to tow my boat to the event and got me in and out of the water everyday. My co-workers made huge sacrifices to get me to this event and I went zero zero….wow.
With all that being said this was a successful tournament. Yep…read that again success!! I am a better angler today than I was yesterday. With the help of my friends and family I pulled off a logistical miracle just getting to this event, I got to spend a few days with my wife and introduce her to a part of my life that she had only seen from afar. So yeah…this was a successful weekend. I failed and I survived it!!!
Omega Prostaff and FLW Tour Rookie Evan Barnes heads for stop Six.
"10:45 at night...10 hours into the drive to La Crosse...It's uphill, the whole way..."