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Day On The Lake with Ken Cook

4/17/2009

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

• Click here to read Ken Cook's blog from his final year on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

The concept behind "Day On The Lake" is to put a Bassmaster Elite Series pro on a completely unfamiliar lake and see if he can find fish in a limited amount of time.

This weekend's episode features Ken Cook of Lawton, Okla., in his final year on the Bassmaster Elite Series who find himself on Lake Degray, a clear, rocky lake in south-west Arkansas, in early spring.

Cook launched just before 8 a.m. on the far western end of the lake near the dam to an overcast morning. Temperatures were mild and there would be periodic rain throughout the day.

With the water temps still hovering around 50 degrees, Cook chose to run across the lake to a main lake bank where he was attempting to locate bass that were transitioning out of their winter habits.

8:00 — Cooks makes a short run across the lake and begins his day on a rocky bank transitioning into a bluff wall at the entrance to a large creek arm on Lake Degray. He chooses to start with a deep-diving Rapala X-Rap jerkbait.

8:21 — After 18 casts, he sets the hook, but it turns out to be just a snag off the end of a bluff point. "That was a good feeling tree though," Cook says.

8:25 — Cook switches to a grub and is slowly fishing it in 35 feet of water off the end of the bluff. The water temperature is reading right around 50 degrees.

8:30 — As he positions his boat around the inside of the bluff point, Cook pulls out a Wiggle Wart and casts it towards the shallows while holding his boat in 40 feet of water.

8:39 — After a short idle across the cove to the other main-lake point, he picks up a spinning rod rigged with a smaller deep-diving X-Rap jerkbait. There are some deeper trees sticking up out of the water and Cook positions his boat in 25 feet of water.

8:48 — Cook is 51 casts into his day and picks up the Wiggle Wart. "A lot of times they gang up on transitions from one type of bank to another," he says, as he cranks the Wiggle Wart along an area where the creek channel swings away from the bank, creating a shallower bank with a different type of rock.

8:51 — He starts fishing a jig on the transition bank.

9:06 — Cook leaves the straight bank and makes a run to a deep rocky point. "I don't really find the bass ganged up on straight banks. I need some contours."

10:28 — Rain has been falling intermittently, but Cook makes a move to another deep rocky bank and catches his first fish, about 1 pound, on the small X-Rap jerkbait.

10:29 — Two casts later, Cook catches his second keeper, another 1-pounder, on the same jerkbait. "I don't believe they are really eating it, but he got his lip on it."

The water he is fishing is 50 degrees just off a secondary point with a steep drop. His boat is in 30 feet of water as he casts both perpendicular and parallel to shore.

10:38 — Still fishing the same area, Cook has switched to a finesse jig.

10:40 — Back to the jerkbait.

11:32 — The rain has stopped and Cook has made a move into another secondary point. He is working back into the pocket and is fishing a Wiggle Wart.

11:36 — Cooks has been spending his time going from secondary point to secondary point. He idles up to the next one and picks up the Wiggle Wart.

11:37 — After just a few casts with the crankbait, he sets the hook into what seems to be a good fish, but it turns out to be a pickerel. "Sneaky snake," Cook says. "Well phooey, that was a nice bite."

11:38 — On his 250th cast of the day, Cook switches back to the X-Rap.

11:42 — Cook sets the hook, but after a few cranks of the reel, the fish comes off. "I saw him and it was a bass," Cook says.

11:44 — Two casts later, number 257 on the day, he hooks up with another bass and this time swings it into the boat. His third keeper weighs 1.5 pounds and comes on the same jerkbait.

11:47 — The next casts results in yet another keeper for Cook. Keeper number four weighs around 1 pound and bit on the jerkbait off the same point.

11:51 — After saturating the area with the jerkbait, Cook tries to slow down and pick apart the rocky point with a jig with no luck.

11:59 — A switch back to the jerkbait produces a bite, but no fish. "He may have had ahold of just the feather," he says.

To see the rest of Ken Cook's Day on the Lake and find out if he can catch a kicker fish to complete his limit, tune in to ESPN2 Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET.

• Click here to read Ken Cook's blog from his final year on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

• For "Day On The Lake" photo galleries, click here.

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.