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Recent entries

McKendree Bass

McKendree Bass

McKendree Bass Team Jumps to 6th Place After FLW Tourney.

Wed, April 06, 2016

My name is Jordan Ledbetter.  I am a senior on the McKendree Bass Fishing team.  On April 1st and 2nd the team competed in their first FLW event of the season – the FLW Open.  The tournament was on Kentucky Lake out of the Moors Resort.  Last season the team had several close finishes in the FLW circuit and barely missed qualifying for the FLW National Championship.  This year we hope to accomplish this goal.

Thanks to Jack and Jan Faust for the wonderful hospitality and beautiful place to stay!

In this tournament, teams could fish on both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.  With the waters slowly warming up and the weather becoming warmer, the lakes were crowded with anglers.  I chose to pre-fish on Lake Barkley because I am a little more familiar with that lake and have had success in the past this time of year.

A typical room the night before a tourney…Shane and Phillip getting ready for day two.

Time for Coach Rinderer to help with a little rod tip replacement.

During pre-fishing the water temperatures varied from 58-62 degrees.  Winds were howling from the west with gusts between 20-30 mph.  We chose to start out fishing the main lake walls near channel swings.  It didn’t take long to pick up some solid keeper bass during pre-fishing.  While pre-fishing, my partner Taylor and I caught fish on a jig as well as a crankbait.

On the first day of the tournament I was boat 193 out of 203 for takeoff.  I made the rough run from the Moors to Barkley.  Once we arrived at our first spot on Barkley, we were able to pick up two keepers within the first half hour on a crankbait.  We then ran downriver where we ended up fishing the rest of the day.  We were able to catch three more solid keepers, all on a jig.

After Day 1 we were in happy to be in 28th place in a crowded field of over 200 boats.  Another McKendree team, Brock Wilke and Trenton Robinson, was sitting in 5th place after Day 1.  Our other two McKendreee teams were in 54th (Austin Chapman and Reece Ellerbusch) and 77th (Shane Campbell and Phillip Germagliotti).

Jordan and Taylor have a great Day 1 with some of their 13-7 limit!

Trent and Brock with some “hogs” that put them in 5th after day one with over 18 pounds!

At the start of Day 2, the wind was still howling across both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.  I chose to go back to Lake Barkley and arrived at my first spot, where we had caught three keepers on Day 1.  We were unable to find a good bite throughout all of Day 2 on Barkley and chose to go back to Kentucky for the last hour of the tournament.  Once back in Kentucky, I went to a creek where I had some success last year.  We were able to catch our first keeper of the day on a crankbait approximately 20 minutes before our weigh-in time.

Austin Chapman and Reece Ellerbusch roughed the day out and were able to pull a five fish limit off docks, only one of 18 total limits for the day in the field of over 200 boats.  They had the 10th best limit of the day bringing nearly 15 pounds to the scale.  They finished the tourney in 17th Place overall, climbing up from 54th place after Day 1.

Austin Chapman discusses their great day two come back while Reece Ellerbusch enjoys every minute of it.

Austin and Reece with their great sack on day two.

On Day 2, Brock Wilke and Trenton Robinson were able to pull two keepers in to the boat to add to their huge Day 1 total to finish in 19th Place.

Other McKendree teams in the tournament were Jordan Ledbetter and Taylor Schmitt - 48th place, and Shane Campbell and Phillip Germagliotti - 97th place.

The fishing conditions were tough on both days of the tournament.  The wind played a major factor for everyone in the tournament and made it nearly impossible for some of the anglers to go far from the ramp.  The weather got into the 30’s at night and then rose to around 60 during the day. Due to the colder weather, the water surface temperature dropped roughly three degrees overnight.  With winds from the west, it made the whole east bank dirty and interfered with many anglers approach.

Brock Wilke getting mentally prepared the morning of day two.

The strong finish at the FLW Open propelled the team to 6th Place, and in strong contention for the Cabelas national School of the Year Race along with perennial fishing powerhouses such as the University of Alabama, University of North Alabama, Mississippi State, Murray State, and Bethel University.

The next event for the Bearcats will be at in Kimberling City, MO on Table Rock Lake for their FLW Central Conference Tourney on April 9th.  Tune in for more updates next week!


Great read Jordan.  Looking forward to continued updates.

Posted by buckbull on April 06

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