Murphy rises to 13th in FLW standings
By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
April 18, 2003
Ken Murphy of Meridian is currently riding a hot streak on the FLW Tournament Trail. Fresh off placing in the money in a tournament at Beaver Lake in Arkansas, Murphy has moved up in the national standings to thirteenth place overall in the co-angler division. Murphy is another Meridian angler who has paid his dues on our local waters while fishing competitively with some of the best anglers in east Mississippi and west Alabama.
Murphy continued his hot streak of late with a long drive from the Arkansas tourney to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to fish an Anglers Choice tournament. Along with team member Tim Fox, Murphy placed third overall in that tournament with a limit of spotted bass. The Angler's Choice trail is another competitive yet lucrative trail where anglers compete locally, with a chance to move on to regional and national competition.
On a recent trip to an area lake, Murphy demonstrated some of his shallow water fishing skills and prowess by sight fishing for bass. One of the keys to sight fishing, according to Murphy, is being able to see the bass. Now that might sound elementary, but around here most of the water is pretty murky.
Murphy has an edge in that department however, as I was soon to find out. After catching an eight-pound bass, the rising tournament angler gave me a tip or two. First he let me look into the water through a favorite pair of his sunglasses. When I put on the glasses it was almost like someone had turned on a light in a dark room. They were that good! The water was dark and murky to my eyes. However, once I put on those Ocean Wave sunglasses, I was able to see beneath the surface. Surface glare was totally eliminated.
Upon releasing that sow bass, the talented angler handed me one of his prize rod and reel combos rigged with a watermelon colored Zoom Fluke. After putting on the special glasses, I was able to see a nice bass under the surface. The bass was chasing away any fish that came near.
After listening to a few instructions and casting to the fish a few times, I finally enticed the bass into striking. The 3-pound bass didn't hold a candle to the big female he had just caught and released, but it really made my afternoon.
Murphy has become really proficient fishing soft plastic baits. Many of the plastics are Zoom baits but some are hand poured. Perhaps his most deadly sight fishing bait is a hand poured crawfish which has pinchers that float up in a defensive motion. By the size of the bass he catches, its easy to see that they really work.
During his recent third place finish in Alabama, he employed a light spinning outfit with 6-pound line. Murphy's boat was positioned in thirty feet of water while they made casts with finesse worms into 7-10 feet of water just off a limestone rock wall. By employing light line he was able to entice the finicky shallow water spotted bass into striking his bait. If you've ever caught a 2 or 3 pound spotted bass, then you know how hard they are to land. To catch one on 6 pound line is really a feat indeed!
Fishing with the pros
Murphy has been fishing on the FLW trail for a couple of years now and has met a lot of talented and friendly fishermen. Perhaps the best part of his fishing experiences is getting to know some of the pros and viewing first hand their specialized tournament techniques and bait modifications.
With his recent success on the national tournament trail, the future looks bright for Ken Murphy. But don't think his successes have changed him any. Hes always eager to talk about and share fishing techniques and strategies that he's learned on the trail. And don't be too surprised if you see him on national television in a national tournament sometime in the near future!