“I’ve been crappie fishing for most of my life and these were the most adverse conditions you could fish in,” explained Hendren. “Roy and I pre-fished the area from Monday through Thursday before the tournament and fished the Kentucky end of the lake. During those four days it was beautiful 80 degree weather with a southerly breeze. That all changed when the tournament started.”
According to weather forecasters, an approaching cold front would change the southerly winds the teams had enjoyed all week and replace them with a hard 20 mph north wind. For good measure the temperature also dropped nearly 25 degrees.
“We went from wearing shorts and sunscreen on Thursday to our heaviest duck hunting gear on Friday,” said Hendren. “The only good thing was, we knew it was coming, and we had planned for it all week. Some of the teams we talked to didn’t bring anything but shorts and t-shirts and were surprised when the weather changed.”
While many of the competitors enjoyed catching fish all over the combined lakes during the pre-fish time, Hendren and Logan formed a game plan to search out areas that would provide them some relief from a hard north wind and spent time identifying potential crappie holding sites for the coming weather.
“We’d had our eye on the Big Sandy River area because it had better protection from the wind,” he said. “We also spent a good bit of time on Wednesday and Thursday locating stumps and stakebeds and marking them on the GPS. We never pre-fished them but we wanted to make sure we had them marked for the change in the weather. Fortunately, when the weather turned, the fish were there.”
Finding fish is one thing, catching them is another. The Hendren/Logan team credited their experience in winning prior tournaments on Kentucky Lake with putting them in the top spot.
“We knew it was going to be a real light bite,” said Hendren. “We were tight lining live minnows on a double hook Capps & Coleman rig. The structure we had marked was in 10 – 12 feet of water. That’s pretty consistent on Kentucky Lake no matter what day of the year you fish it. It seems all the better crappie are going to hold about pole deep all the time.”
To combat the light bite dilemma, Hendren and Logan used a B’n’M Pole that has jumped to the top of many trolling anglers list of favorites, a rod that was originally designed as a jig pole.
“I have nothing else in my boat but 14 foot BGJP’s (Buck’s Graphite Jig Poles),” said Hendren. “We use these with ½ oz rigs which puts a slight bend in the pole while you’re trolling. If the fish takes the bait to the side, he doesn’t feel much resistance like he would with a stiffer rod and he holds it longer.”
Both the sour weather and the Big Sandy pattern held out through the two day event and at the end, Wade Hendren and Roy Logan brought in a 2-day total weight of 19.18 pounds, earning the team $40,000.00 in cash and prizes including a new Ranger V118 boat with an Evinrude Outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics and Driftmaster equipment packages and $2,000.00 in cash.
The team’s feat also concluded a B’n’M Poles pro-staff sweep of both major crappie events in 2012 with the team of Charles and Travis Bunting having won the Crappie Masters Championship on the Tenn-Tom Waterway earlier in the month. In addition, returning 2011 Crappie Masters Champions Bill and Roger Gant took home the big fish award at the 2012 Crappie USA event with a 2.51 pound slab.
B’n’M Poles would like to congratulate all of our winning teams during the year for their hard work, dedication, and continued success in the sport of crappie fishing. Want to join our team? It’s simple. Log on to www.bnmpoles.com. Get the gear, get the tackle, and catch fish. Wherever fishing takes you, B’n’M has been there.