Lake Cumberland High Water Challenge

Category: Tournament

 Jun 1st, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 1st, 2005 at 12:00 AM

DNR Biologist John Williams gave the anglers a rundown on the fishery. Lake Cumberland’s walleye average 17 – 22 inches and weigh two to four pounds. Those sizes are typically two and three year old fish. The statistics indicate a 5-fish limit would weigh 10 – 15 pounds.Because of unusually high water, the rivers feeding into Lake Cumberland are carrying with them a huge amount of trash. Apparently, there is some sort of a local dump that is washing into the fishery. Some of the items spotted so far include 30 basketballs, 40 – 50 tires with rims, a hot water heater, a refrigerator, and railroad ties.All that junk makes for treacherous travel for the anglers.Top that off with very few fish being caught, and we have the makings for what one angler called, “the worst conditions in 22 years.” For some, catching 10 pounds of fish in one day will be a pipe dream. Many guys have been here for a week to ten days and have only caught three fish in that time. As with every tournament, no matter the conditions, the cream always rises to the top and a handful of talented anglers may bring in a limit. Look for a possible repeat of the FLW event on Bull Shoals, with a lot of long faces and only a few smiling ones.

Pro Mark Martin feels a couple of fish per day will get you far at Cumberland (WalleyeFIRST Photo)

Martin ConfidentSure, Lund/Mercury pro Mark Martin has been at the tournament game for many years. His confidence spills over after numerous high finishes and a couple of wins on the PWT. This week, any angler with even marginal confidence is something to behold.”I’ve had some good practice days,” he said. “I feel like I can weigh a fish or two a day and have shot at doing well. Realistically, any angler who weighs a couple of 2-pounders per day is going to be in the money. I think I can do that.”He’s using his Lowrance electronics and Navionics chips to zero in on productive stretches he’s visually picked out.”I’ve used my electronics to confirm my suspicions about certain areas,” he said. “I see an area of shoreline that looks good and I use my Navionics and Lowrance gear to zero in on the structure. It’s about a 50/50 chance that a walleye will be there.”One-two punch combo working for Martin“It’s going to be weird out there,” he said. “It’s been taking a one-two punch to make the fish go. I search with one technique and get them to go with another.”

PolarKraft Pro Kevin Schweder believes limits will be scarce at Lake Cumberland (WalleyeFIRST Photo)

Martin’s call is for the winner to have a total weight in the 20-pound range.Schweder DoubtfulWith just a few fish to show for a week of practice, Polar Kraft pro Kevin Schweder is a big believer in Lake Cumberland’s walleye population.”A fish per day will cash a check,” he said. “If someone comes in with a decent limit tomorrow, I don’t doubt that they will win the event. It’s that bad out here.”There aren’t many active fish,” he said. “I’ll just go trolling and cover water. It’s gonna be a crapshoot.”

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