Ott DeFoe Leads Day One of Bassfest at Kentucky Lake

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Elite Series Kentucky Lake BASSfest Day One Leader Ott DeFoe - photo by Gary Tramontina - Bassmaster

Elite Series Kentucky Lake BASSfest Day One Leader Ott DeFoe – photo by Gary Tramontina – Bassmaster

PARIS, Tenn. — Ott DeFoe admits he entered Wednesday’s opening round of the Zippo Bassmaster BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps feeling confident bordering on cocky.

But as excited as he was, he wasn’t expecting this.

DeFoe brought five bass to the scales that weighed 26 pounds, 7 ounces and claimed the Day 1 lead by more than a pound over South Carolina angler Andy Montgomery, who was second with 25-4.

Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers was third with 24-0, and Michigan superstar Kevin VanDam was fourth with 23-9 on a day when it took 20-4 just to make the Top 25.

“I had expectations, but I didn’t really think 26 pounds was where it was going to end up,” said DeFoe, who lives 4 1/2 hours away in Knoxville, Tenn. “I don’t want to say I was cocky, but I felt like I was going to have a pretty good day if I got on the place I wanted to fish – and if the fish stayed, which apparently they did.”

Like many in the 124-angler field, DeFoe caught most of his best fish before 10 a.m. and then went into “fish-management” mode. Instead of pounding his best areas and potentially wasting fish that could help him later in the week, he backed away and went looking for new hot spots.

He was surprised when one of the new places he found actually produced his best fish — a 7-5 largemouth that ranked as the second-largest fish caught during the opening round.

“I’m not going to say I was killing time, because I was still fishing,” DeFoe said. “But I was kind of waiting on time to go by until it was time to come in. I got one bite there, and it was a 7 1/4-pounder.”

The big fish allowed DeFoe to cull a 3 1/2-pound bass and pushed his weight from the 23-pound range above 26. That was just enough to help him edge Montgomery, who actually got help from DeFoe to catch his final keeper.

Montgomery, who struggled in practice, said the changing weather conditions caused the lake’s famed ledge bite to improve drastically Wednesday. Bright sunshine and mostly calm conditions replaced the gloomy weather that has hung over the Mid-South region the past week, and several anglers said it made a big difference.

“I’ve had some good practices this year and couldn’t carry it over when the tournament started,” Montgomery said. “This time I had a tough practice, but I knew where a good place was from past experience. Since I had a good boat draw, I was able to get there pretty early, and it worked out.

“I’m not a ledge expert by any means, but I know the sunshine makes a big difference on the Tennessee River.”

Dead batteries made it hard for Montgomery to do exactly what he wanted later in the day, but a favor from DeFoe helped him cull his last small fish.

“I was running down the lake, and I stopped and talked to Ott,” Montgomery said. “I told him I had four big ones and one 2-pounder. He had all 4-pounders, so he told me where a place was where I could go and catch one more good one.”

Evers had his limit set by 10 a.m., and VanDam was done putting his together by 9:30 a.m. Most of VanDam’s fish came during the kind of furious, 30-minute ledge flurry that Kentucky Lake is known for.

“It’s good when it’s like that,” VanDam said. “I got out there quick. I just didn’t want to draw too much attention to it, hoping I can get a few more tomorrow.”

Many ledges were crowded with a mixture of tournament anglers and local anglers. It wasn’t unusual to see more than a dozen boats fishing a small portion of the sprawling 160,000-acre lake.

VanDam, who has recorded two of his 20 career B.A.S.S. victories on Kentucky Lake, said boat traffic and competition could play a big role in the outcome of the tournament.

“I know I’ve got to have a mega-school for every day, and I just don’t have it,” VanDam said. “I’ve got some stuff, for sure. But … we’ll see.”

The tournament will resume Thursday with a full field of 111 Elite Series pros and 13 invited anglers from the three Bass Pro Shops Open circuits presented by Allstate.

After Thursday’s round, anglers who don’t make the Top 50 will be allowed to fish a special Second Chance tournament Friday on nearby Lake Barkley. The Top 10 finishers from the Second Chance event will rejoin the original Top 50 on Saturday back at Kentucky Lake with only the Top 12 advancing to Sunday’s final round.

Thursday’s takeoff will be at 6:15 a.m. from Paris Landing State Park with the weigh-in scheduled back at the park for 3:15 p.m.

Also, on Friday, the Top 50 anglers will be onsite at the state park for Bassmaster University — fishing seminars given by the pros. Fishing fans and their families can join in all the fun. All B.A.S.S. events are free.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2015 Zippo BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps 6/3-6/7
Kentucky Lake, Paris  TN.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  26-07  100
Day 1: 5   26-07
2.  Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  25-04   99
Day 1: 5   25-04
3.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  24-00   98
Day 1: 5   24-00
4.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  23-09   97
Day 1: 5   23-09
5.  Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  23-05   96
Day 1: 5   23-05
6.  Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  22-14   95
Day 1: 5   22-14
7.  Shin Fukae             Palestine, TX            5  22-14    0
Day 1: 5   22-14
8.  Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN    5  22-08   94
Day 1: 5   22-08
9.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  22-07   93
Day 1: 5   22-07
10. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                5  21-15   92
Day 1: 5   21-15
11. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        5  21-12   91
Day 1: 5   21-12
12. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR            5  21-12   90
Day 1: 5   21-12
13. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                5  21-09   89
Day 1: 5   21-09
13. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     5  21-09   89
Day 1: 5   21-09
15. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  21-05    0
Day 1: 5   21-05
16. Chris Johnston         Otonabee CANADA          5  21-03    0
Day 1: 5   21-03
17. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  21-02   87
Day 1: 5   21-02
18. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  21-00   86
Day 1: 5   21-00
19. Darold Gleason         Leesville, LA            5  20-15    0
Day 1: 5   20-15
20. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  20-12   85
Day 1: 5   20-12
21. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  20-09   84
Day 1: 5   20-09
22. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL              5  20-07   83
Day 1: 5   20-07
23. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  20-05   82
Day 1: 5   20-05
24. JT Kenney              Palm Bay, FL             5  20-05    0
Day 1: 5   20-05
25. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  20-04   81
Day 1: 5   20-04
26. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  20-03   80
Day 1: 5   20-03
27. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            5  20-02   79
Day 1: 5   20-02
28. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  20-02   78
Day 1: 5   20-02
29. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            5  20-01   77
Day 1: 5   20-01
30. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  19-11   76
Day 1: 5   19-11
31. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          5  19-06   75
Day 1: 5   19-06
32. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  19-05   74
Day 1: 5   19-05
32. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  19-05   74
Day 1: 5   19-05
34. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL                5  19-03   72
Day 1: 5   19-03
35. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  19-01   71
Day 1: 5   19-01
36. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  19-00   70
Day 1: 5   19-00
37. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  18-15   69
Day 1: 5   18-15
37. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  18-15   69
Day 1: 5   18-15
39. Matt Lee               Auburn , AL              5  18-12   67
Day 1: 5   18-12
40. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              5  18-10   66
Day 1: 5   18-10
41. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           5  18-06   65
Day 1: 5   18-06
42. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK               4  18-01   64
Day 1: 4   18-01
43. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  18-00   63
Day 1: 5   18-00
44. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  17-15   62
Day 1: 5   17-15
45. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  17-09   61
Day 1: 5   17-09
46. Jordan Lee             Vinemont, AL             5  17-07   60
Day 1: 5   17-07
47. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  17-06   59
Day 1: 5   17-06
48. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  17-03   58
Day 1: 5   17-03
48. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  17-03   58
Day 1: 5   17-03
48. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  17-03   58
Day 1: 5   17-03
51. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  17-02   55
Day 1: 5   17-02
52. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  17-01   54
Day 1: 5   17-01
53. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  16-15   53
Day 1: 5   16-15
54. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  16-13   52
Day 1: 5   16-13
54. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  16-13   52
Day 1: 5   16-13
56. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  16-11   50
Day 1: 5   16-11
57. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         5  16-07   49
Day 1: 5   16-07
58. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  16-04   48
Day 1: 5   16-04
59. Randy Howell           Springville, AL          5  16-01   47
Day 1: 5   16-01
60. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  15-14   46
Day 1: 5   15-14
61. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  14-15   45
Day 1: 5   14-15
62. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  14-14   44
Day 1: 5   14-14
63. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  14-10   43
Day 1: 5   14-10
64. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  14-09   42
Day 1: 5   14-09
65. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  14-05   41
Day 1: 5   14-05
66. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS               5  14-04   40
Day 1: 5   14-04
67. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  14-03   39
Day 1: 5   14-03
68. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  14-02   38
Day 1: 5   14-02
69. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               4  14-02   37
Day 1: 4   14-02
70. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  14-00   36
Day 1: 5   14-00
71. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  13-15   35
Day 1: 5   13-15
72. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          5  13-13   34
Day 1: 5   13-13
72. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  13-13   34
Day 1: 5   13-13
74. Chad Morgenthaler      Coulterville, IL         5  13-04   32
Day 1: 5   13-04
75. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  13-03   31
Day 1: 5   13-03
75. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  13-03   31
Day 1: 5   13-03
77. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          5  13-02   29
Day 1: 5   13-02
78. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA             5  12-12   28
Day 1: 5   12-12
79. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  12-11   27
Day 1: 5   12-11
80. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  12-09   26
Day 1: 5   12-09
81. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  12-07   25
Day 1: 5   12-07
82. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  12-04   24
Day 1: 5   12-04
83. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               5  12-02   23
Day 1: 5   12-02
84. Troy Broussard         Beaumont, TX             5  12-01    0
Day 1: 5   12-01
85. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  12-00   22
Day 1: 5   12-00
86. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ              4  11-13   21
Day 1: 4   11-13
87. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX              5  11-05   20
Day 1: 5   11-05
87. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  11-05   20
Day 1: 5   11-05
87. Chad Wiley             Pineville, LA            5  11-05    0
Day 1: 5   11-05
90. Brian Clark            Haltom City, TX          4  11-05    0
Day 1: 4   11-05
91. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  11-00   18
Day 1: 5   11-00
92. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  10-13   17
Day 1: 5   10-13
93. Scott Barnett          Mansfield, TX            3  10-12    0
Day 1: 3   10-12
94. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  10-07   16
Day 1: 5   10-07
94. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  10-07   16
Day 1: 5   10-07
96. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               4  10-07   14
Day 1: 4   10-07
97. Gary Clouse            La Vergne, TN            4  10-06    0
Day 1: 4   10-06
98. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           3  10-05   13
Day 1: 3   10-05
99. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX           5  10-03   12
Day 1: 5   10-03
100. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  10-02   11
Day 1: 5   10-02
101. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              5  10-01   10
Day 1: 5   10-01
102. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL         5  09-07    9
Day 1: 5   09-07
103. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI              4  09-00    8
Day 1: 4   09-00
104. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             4  08-15    7
Day 1: 4   08-15
105. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            4  08-13    6
Day 1: 4   08-13
106. Mike Kernan            Wylie, TX                4  08-05    5
Day 1: 4   08-05
107. Kevin Ledoux           Choctaw, OK              4  08-01    4
Day 1: 4   08-01
108. Jared Miller           Norman, OK               4  07-15    3
Day 1: 4   07-15
109. Jesse Tacoronte        Orlando, FL              2  06-08    0
Day 1: 2   06-08
110. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                2  06-07    2
Day 1: 2   06-07
111. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          2  06-01    1
Day 1: 2   06-01
112. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                 2  05-15    0
Day 1: 2   05-15
113. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA  2  04-15    0
Day 1: 2   04-15
114. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              3  04-12    0
Day 1: 3   04-12
115. Joseph Sancho          New Windsor, NY          2  04-03    0
Day 1: 2   04-03
116. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK         1  03-07    0
Day 1: 1   03-07
117. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          1  02-12    0
Day 1: 1   02-12
118. Stephen Longobardi     Northford, CT            1  02-08    0
Day 1: 1   02-08
119. David Smith            Del City, OK             1  01-10    0
Day 1: 1   01-10
120. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH           0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
120. Logan Sherrer          Karnack, TX              0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
120. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR            0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
120. David Williams         Maiden, NC               0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
120. Craig Workman          Fort Worth, TX           0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        94       543      1801-14
———————————-
94       543      1801-14