Sain notches Northern Tour win
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. — With only minutes left in his fishing day, Tennessee pro Jason Sain boated a 2-pound bass. It was exactly enough fish for the win at the CITGO Bassmaster Northern Tour event on Kentucky Lake on Saturday.
His 49-pound, 9-ounce tournament total bested Donald Cordle's final weight by 2 pounds even, and was 2 pounds, 1 ounce more than the three-day weight of local favorite and Friday leader Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn.
Sain estimated he fished his final spot for three minutes. His decision to run to the spot proved lucrative: The 32-year-old earned a top prize of a Triton boat package valued at $45,000 and nearly $25,000 in cash.
"This is the highlight of my fishing career," said Sain, who works as a mason when he is not fishing. "I am just thankful that I made the decision to stop at that last spot. That won the tournament for me."
With several other tournaments running at the same time on Kentucky Lake as the three-day Tour, Sain and the other 49 Tour anglers had to contend with heavy boat traffic on Saturday. Anticipating the pressure for hot spots, Sain made a 35-mile trek to Barkley Lake, which along with Kentucky Lake comprised the tournament waters. The Beechgrove, Tenn., angler had fished Kentucky Lake the first two days of competition.
"Making the decision to move to Lake Barkley today was huge," said Sain, whose tournament experience includes ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series presented by Advance Auto Parts events in 2005 and 2006.
Much like the majority of the field, Sain targeted offshore ledges with a variety of lures — a big worm, a creature bait and a crankbait — in 10 feet of water.
Second-place finisher Cordle of Brentwood, Tenn., said that despite missing out on the win, he was satisfied with how he fished.
"I was shooting for a top-five finish at this tournament so I'm happy with the way it ended," said the 36-year-old.
One ounce behind Cordle was Lashlee, who jumped out to a commanding 3-pound-plus lead after Thursday. The 44-year-old ultimately faltered on his hometown waters and lamented a 5-pound fish he lost on the final day.
"That is the way fishing goes," Lashlee said, who won a national tournament on the waters just weeks ago. "I have no complaints and no excuses though. The fish didn't bite as well as I thought they would these past two days."
"I was shooting for a top-five finish so I'm happy with the way it ended," said Donald Cordle, who finished in second.Missouri's Scott Campbell (46-15) moved up to fourth place with one of the biggest bags of the day: 14 pounds, 12 ounces. Kentucky's Rodney Brown rounded out the top five with 46 pounds, 11 ounces.
On the co-angler side, Rob Lee won his division in wire-to-wire fashion, boating 26 pounds, 10 ounces of bass over three days. The Deatsville, Ala., angler held off Kentucky's Wayne Luckett (25-6) and Maryland's Joshua Fiedler (24-4). Lee's first prize was a Triton boat package valued at $30,000.
The Kentucky Lake event was the first of five on the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Northern Tour. The next stop for the Northern Tour anglers is Fort Madison, Iowa, and the Mississippi River, July 20-22.