Andrew Upshaw caught a 15-01 stringer on day 2 of the FLW Series Championship at Kentucky's Lake Cumberland to move into the lead as the 193-angler field was reduced to the top 10 for the final day. With a total of 30 pounds even, he has a 1-13 advantage over 2nd-place Rob Burns.
“I love smallmouth and I love fishing these types of Kentucky reservoirs – Lake Cumberland and Lake Cherokee,” said Upshaw, who earned the first FLW Tour victory of his career earlier this season at Cherokee. “I feel like I have a pretty good understanding right now on how the fish are set up on cover, and that is helping me a lot.”
Upshaw said he caught about 18 keepers today, with his first bite coming around 9:45 a.m.
“I knew that the first hour and a half was going to be slow,” Upshaw said. “The way I’m fishing, it’s a timing thing. I had to be there at the exact right time. It’s not necessarily a spot, though. I’m running a pattern. I found three or four other areas today that had them on it.”
Although Upshaw did not mention any specific baits that he threw on day 2, he did say that he caught them Thursday on a buzzbait, a Ned rig and a jig. He thinks that the fish are actually already moving into their wintertime mode.
“The way the fish are setting up, it’s almost more of a wintertime pattern than fall,” he said. “I’m fishing really slowly and thoroughly and that is a big key. I’m just keeping a couple of rods in my hand and just going fishing. I have a lot of confidence from how they’re setting up.
“I don’t think I’m going to have any problems tomorrow. If I can just go out there and put my head down and go fishing, I think I’ll be fine.”
Here are the totals for the 10 anglers who advanced to the final day:
1. Andrew Upshaw: 30-00
2. Rob Burns: 28-03
3. Matt Pangrac: 26-08
4. Steve Floyd: 25-11
5. Rusty Salewske: 25-07
6. Laramy Strickland: 24-13
7. (tie) Luke Plunkett: 24-11
7. (tie) Brent Algeo: 24-10
9. Travis Manson: 24-08
10. David Valdivia: 24-01