By MLF Communications Staff

Arkansas' Kerry Milner weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds even to take the lead after day 1 of the Lewis Smith Lake MLF Pro Circuit in Alabama. Milner holds a 5-ounce lead over home-state competitor Joseph Webster, who boxed 17-11.

Milner brought five spotted bass to the scale. He said he boated a whopping 20 keepers on the day.

“I’m seeing a lot of people fishing the same stuff I’m fishing, but having different results,” said Milner. “I’ve been able to go right in behind people and catch them.”

Milner said he has two spots on the main lake with schools of fish that he feels are especially good because of the herring in the area.

“I’m seeing herring float up, watching them on the graph and seeing fish spit them up when I catch them,” said Milner. “There are multiple fish in those areas – you can just sit there and catch them all day.”

When asked if he thought his bait was the difference-maker, Milner was guarded, but said he believed it was the total technique.

“I’m doing something a little different than everyone else and I think the other guys are missing them on the depth by just a bit,” said Milner. “I figured out what I was going to do in practice – I instantly went to a spot that sets up like these two areas and caught a 3-pounder. I tried a few other things, then came back to this same technique and was able to shake off fish in five different spots on the lake.

"At that point, I knew what I needed to do and let the fish and the areas rest until competition day. That’s what I plan to do until those fish abandon me.”

It was refreshing for Milner to start out with a bang on day 1 of the competition, as he said his prior two trips to Lewis Smith Lake didn’t go nearly as well.

“The other times we were at Lewis Smith, it was a little bit too early for the technique I’m using,” Milner continued. “I had a pretty good first day of practice one year, that set up just like this, but they left and got on beds. It’s still a bit too cold for that though, so I don’t think they are going to move up this week.”

Milner would only say that he was “fishing the way he wants to fish” and said it was very familiar to the way he typically fishes on Arkansas’ Norfork Lake, Lake Dardanelle and other fisheries.

“This is what I look for everywhere I go,” said Milner. “ My fans and followers back home know exactly what I’m doing.”

Here are the totals for the initial Top 10:

1. Kerrry Milner: 18-00
2. Joseph Webster: 17-11
3. Joshua Weaver: 17-04
4. John Cox: 16-13
5. Cole Floyd: 16-02
6. Bobby Lane: 15-15
7. Corey Neece: 15-03
8. Tai Au: 14-15
9. Ricky Robinson: 14-13
10. Kyle Cortiana: 14-08

For complete results, click here.