Weather, Lake Level Could Be Major Factors In Chevy Wild Card On Kentucky-Barkley Lakes

Billy Schroeder will be looking for redemption – and more – in the Walmart Chevy Wild Card tournament on Kentucky-Barkley lakes next week.

“I was 14th in the standings coming into the last tournament – and did not catch a fish,” said Schroeder who lives about a dozen miles from Kentucky Lake Dam and considers the lake his home water. That zero in the BFL qualifier Sept. 20 dropped him to 41st place, but he has a good chance to move on to the 2015 Walmart BFL All-American if he can finish in the top six in the Wild Card.

The tournament three weeks ago conflicted with his job, Schroeder explained. He works for the American Quilters Society ( which conducts competitive quilting shows and that tournament was right between two major shows. The quilting society was created by his father who was close friends with B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott.

“They traveled together for years and Dad patterned the American Quilters Society after B.A.S.S.,” Schroeder said.

“The last time I fished the lake was in August,” he said. “My friend did fish a two-day tournament last weekend and finished 3rd, so I have some insight as to what’s going on with the fish.”

That insight, he said, is sure to help, but the weather could change everything.

“I don’t know what all this rain is going to do to the fishing. The lake came up, but it will be falling next week. There was a lot of topwater going on, so I don’t know what this will do to the topwater bite. I was hoping they would stay where they were, but I may have to totally regroup. That happens sometimes,” said Schroeder.

Besides the rain, the fall weather fronts moving through the region could bring some high winds and that could change everybody’s plans, he said.

I fished the FLW Tour for about four years and fished on Lake Champlain, but Kentucky Lake gets about as rough as any lake you ever saw. The weather will be a factor.”

Schroeder said that while a lot of anglers will be making 80-mile runs down the lake to get to the areas with heavy grass, he plans to stay close to home.

“When I start practicing Saturday I will probably work some of the bigger bays, start shallow and work out to deeper water. I’ll probably throw a topwater a lot, a spinnerbait and a jig. Those will be my three main baits. For the tournament I’ll throw a buzzbait, a spoon, a half-ounce jig and a half-ounce spinnerbait.”

Even though the changing weather and falling lake level may affect the fishing, Schroeder said there will be a lot of fish caught in the Chevy Wild Card Tournament.

“I think three will be a lot of 12- and 13-pound stringers and then there will be an occasional 20- to 21-pound stringer, maybe a 25-pound stringer. I am thinking it will take about 17 1/2 pounds to make the top 10, so maybe 34 pounds for the two days will be good.”


Walmart BFL Chevy Wild Card

Oct 24-25, 2014

Kentucky-Barkley Lakes

Moors Resort & Marina