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2016 Friends of Cave Run Tournament

June 29, 2016

By Chris Erwin
The Friends of Cave Run Annual Tournament is in the books. It’s a two-day tournament with the first day being a qualifier for the second. The top 20 boats are the cut off for the second day.

  (Winners of the Friends of Cave Run Lake are from left to right the team of Black &Wells, Adams & Rayburn, and McCarty & Moore photo by Chris Erwin)

(Winners of the Friends of Cave Run Lake are from left to right the team of Black &Wells, Adams & Rayburn, and McCarty & Moore photo by Chris Erwin)

I made it to the event before the first day weigh-in. The parking lot was packed so I knew the tournament had a pretty good turnout. After talking to the tournament officials, I learned that 92 boats were particpating in the event.

Looking at the board I saw that one of Kentucky Angling’s regular contributors was fishing as the team Doan and Johnson. Scott Doan has been responsible for a lot of the fishing reports that both the Ashland Beacon and Kentucky Angling Magazine make available on a regular basis, so I was rooting that he had a good day and made it in the second day of competition.

I had been on the water the week before this tournament and caught fish on both crankbaits and top-water baits, so I was curious to find out how this pattern would hold up over the two days or if they would find some new pattern that produced even better.

The first day weight-in was at 3 p.m. I was standing on the small floating dock at the Clay Lick boat ramp when the boats started to come in. I saw a lot of smiles; I can tell you from competing for over 20 years that’s the first sign of a good day on the water.

I wasn’t wrong; a lot of people were pulling fish out of their live wells and bagging them for the weigh-in. I saw at least five fish over five pounds and plenty of others in the two to three pound range.

In this tournament, you were allowed to weigh-in two fish under the slot and three over the slot. Of course out of the five fish limit you could have as many as you wanted over the slot, but only two under. The slot on Cave Run is 13-16 inches, so legal fish are under 13 inches or over 16 inches.

As the 92 teams were called to the stage to weigh-in fish, the 3:00 p.m. weigh-in lasted for another two and half hours. The team of Doan and Johnson ended up in seventh place out of the 92 team field.

( Scott Doan and Brandon Johnson first day catch while fishing the "Friends of Cave Run lake" Tournament totaling 11 pounds photo by Chris Erwin)

( Scott Doan and Brandon Johnson first day catch while fishing the “Friends of Cave Run lake” Tournament totaling 11 pounds photo by Chris Erwin)

When I talked to Doan, he told that once they felt they had made the cut they quit fishing saving the rest for day two. They had about 11 pounds the first day, including one smallmouth, which broke the three pound mark.

Day Two: The tale of the Tape
The day started out overcast, something as an angler you feel is a good sign. While it didn’t rain, I felt it could begin at any time.

Now they were only 20 boats fishing the second day, and the weight was to begin at 2 p.m. Again, I was standing on the floating dock waiting on the field to return.
As boats dropped their key buoy and lined up to pull out of the water, I was told that many of the boats would be pulling out of Warix Run because of a tree that was across the road at the beginning of the day moving the blast-off to that dock. However, the weigh-in would be held at Clay Lick as it was the day before.

It was clear by the expressions I saw on the faces of the competitors that this was a different day, and something had changed. I saw a lot of guys shaking their heads, and the smiles were few.

I went to Doan and Johnson. As it turns out, they were plagued with equipment issues. Doan broke off two good fish, and Johnson also broke a rod tip, but they still managed to weight in two fish winning their entry fee back, but I could tell it was disappointing.

First, second and third-place teams were: Black and Wells winning the $10,000 dollars with 13.60 pounds; second place was Adams and Rayburn with 11.36 pounds and third place was McCarty and Moore with 9.61 pounds.

After the tournament was over, I interviewed each winner along with people that had a good number the day before. Most of the fish were caught on crankbaits and some type of topwater. A few fish were taken on Whacky worms and few on jigs. In conclusion, the pattern that we were reporting in our regular fishing report was responsible for most of the fish that came to the scales.

Chris Erwin is the Author of Camping Kentucky, founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email chris@ashlandbeacon.com

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