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Sunday, March 8, 2015
2015 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Toho Day 3: JT Kenney Continues to Dominate
Weird Weather Whip Water and Weights
by Rob Newell
FLW Press Release
For those who don’t believe that professional fishing is a game of offense and defense like any other sport, consider JT Kenney’s strategy for the last three days of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Toho presented by Mercury. The first two days, Kenney ran pure “offensive plays” on key, precise bedding areas to run up the score. Today, he ran more “defensive plays” to protect his lead.
With 66-12lb for three days, Kenney remains king of Toho event. (Photo: FLW)
The reason for dialing up the defense today was based largely on the weather. The Sunshine State has been anything but sunny the last two days. Last night temperatures took a dip in central Florida, and a thick blanket of cloud cover blocked any sun from warming the waters back up today. Add to that a pesky northeast breeze, and the chances of big Florida bass moving up for amorous activity declined greatly. So Kenney called in a contingency plan to hold his ground.
“If I had tried to knock it out of the park today with another 25 pounds, I could have lost this tournament,” Kenney says. “We had a different set of weather conditions today, so I compensated by going to a different lake [Toho] with a different bait.”
In essence, Kenney scratched the commute to Kissimmee to run his “red-dot offense” from previous days, which involved fishing a series of waypoints (marked with red dots on his electronics) on isolated lily pads where bass are spawning. He instead stayed in Toho, picked up a 1/2-ounce Nichols Pulsator spinnerbait and fished inside grass lines and deep pads for his catch. Everything he weighed in today was caught with the spinnerbait. He knew the quality of his catch would be less, but it kept him in position to win. At one point, he almost reverted back to the offensive system, but it wasn’t clicking.
“I caught two pretty quick, and one was a 5-pounder,” Kenney says. “I was feeling pretty good. So I decided to go on offense with the red-dot program. I ran about 20 or so red dots and caught a handful of ‘barely keepers.’ It was a completely fruitless move. When I realized that wasn’t going to work, I went back to the spinnerbait on some deeper pads and culled up by 5 pounds in the last hour.”
His day-three catch of 14 pounds, 5 ounces allowed Kenney to protect his 12-pound lead (the lead dropped just 2 ounces) going into the final day.
To win the event on Sunday, Kenney plans to combine both strategies.
“Tomorrow I’m probably going to start in defensive mode again right here in Toho,” he says. “But if the sun comes out and I see a window open, I’m going to Kissimmee. I still have about 10 red dots down there that owe me.”