Monday, February 26, 2024

Wesley Strader, Scott Canterbury, and JT Kenney

Date:

La Verne, Calif. – When the scales closed on the final day of the Walmart FLW Tour season opener on Lake Toho, a trio of Typhoon pro anglers occupied the top three spots. Typhoon pros JT Kenney, Scott Canterbury and Wesley Strader topped the field with over 74-pounds of bass apiece. Each angler relied heavily on his polarized Typhoon sunglasses in what was an event where sight fishing was paramount.

1. JT Kenney, 76-0

The Florida pro held on to win the event in wire-to-wire fashion. His first-day weight of 29 pounds, 14 ounces was enough to put him at the top of the leaderboard and he stayed there throughout the tournament. Kenney depended largely on his regional knowledge of Florida fishing for the win, “I really don’t fish the Kissimmee chain a lot. When I am home I fish Okeechobee, but I think my understanding of how these Florida bass act, especially this time of year, was the key,” noted Kenney.

Kenney focused his fishing on a type of area that he found in different locations throughout lakes Toho and Kissimmee. “I was looking for spawning areas,” said Kenney. “I could see the males on beds, but the females weren’t showing themselves. I’d push into an area and drop my Power-Poles and target isolated arrowheads, reeds and lily pads with a Gambler Fat Ace. The key was being able to see the targets and hold my location with the Power-Poles.

“Honestly, I couldn’t have fished the areas effectively without my Power-Poles holding me in place so I could sit still and let my eyes do the work,” he continued. “I fished the Fat Ace extremely slow on a Trokar TK-135 hook and a 3/8th-ounce Reins Tungsten weight with 17-pound-test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line —  all rigged on a Halo Daylight series 7-6 rod.”

Although he wasn’t looking at the fish he caught, Kenney relied heavily on his meridian blue Typhoon Optics lenses to validate bottom composition and scan vegetation. “Being able to see isolated vegetation near thicker hydrilla was important. I was looking for clean bottom composition in those areas.”

2. Scott Canterbury, 75-5 

Much like Kenney, Scott Canterbury had to spot the right areas to fish. “I was looking for sandy bottom areas,” he revealed. “I’d see beds and small bucks. The bigger fish weren’t locked on beds, but they were in the area.”

The Alabama pro worked a Texas-rigged Bruiser Baits Stick Worm with a variety of weights. “I used the Stick Worm on 3/16th-, 3/8th-, and ½-ounce weights, depending on the cover and the current,” he added.

Unlike Kenney, Canterbury wasn’t on much heading into the tournament. “It wasn’t until 11 on the first morning of the event that I figured it out. That’s when I put two 4-pounders in the boat and an 8-pounder to go with them. Day two I went out and repeated it and got a 7 ½-pounder.”

On the final day of the event Canterbury abandoned his pattern and went looking for boat docks, a changeup that rewarded him with the heaviest final-day bag weighing 21 pounds, 10 ounces that settled him just 11 ounces short of Kenney.

Canterbury’s setup included a Halo Twilight series rod paired with an Ardent reel, 15-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon line. In addition to his tackle, he attributed two key factors to his success, “Power-Poles were a big part of my week and my Typhoon Polarized Optics with sunset brown lenses. Being able to see what I was fishing, and hold my location was a big part of the week,” said Canterbury.

3. Wesley Strader, 74-11

For Strader, the pattern varied a bit. “On day one I focused on spawning beds. The wind and clouds came in on day two, so I switched to a PH Custom Baits prop bait in gold foil with a black back. For days three and four I moved to shell beds and utilized a Yo-Zuri Rattlin’ Vibe in baby bass color to bring most of my fish to the scales,” stateted Strader.

Strader’s fishing gear consisted of Powell Max 3D rods, Team Lew’s Lite reels in 6.5:1 gear ratio, 16-pound-test fluorocarbon and 20-pound-test Izorline monofilament. For bed fishing he employed a combination of Zoom Super Flukes, trick worms and speed craws paired with a Reins 1/16th ounce tungsten weight.

“The Copper Rose lenses really worked well, especially with the tannic water here in Florida,” Strader said of his Typhoon fishing glasses. “That played a big role in the success I had during this tournament. Plus, anytime you are bed fishing, you want to eliminate the light coming from around the frame, and the Alohas are a perfect fit for that.”

 

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