Haynes leads, Morgan closes in on AOY

Randy Haynes grabs a 1-ounce lead after day one of the FLW Tour on Lake Chickamauga with a 23-8 sack.

DAYTON, Tenn. - Day one of the Walmart FLW Tour finale on Lake Chickamauga was supposed to be filled with drama. Instead, Eufaula champion Randy Haynes returned to the deep ledges and quickly reasserted his dominance while Andy Morgan took a major step towards claiming his first Angler of the Year title. While Haynes struggled at Grand Lake, it turned out to be a shallow-water flipping tournament. Now that he's back offshore, Haynes is back in his comfort zone. "I caught around a dozen keepers today, all largemouths," said Haynes, who is quickly garnering a reputation as one of the best deep sticks in the sport. "A lot of them were pretty small, though. The smallest fish that I weighed in today was 3 pounds, which was kind of disappointing considering I had three over 5 (pounds)." Haynes said that he was fishing 10 different schools, rotating throughout the day. While he visited Chickamauga for a few days of prepractice, he doesn't have any water all to himself. "I think that the areas that I am fishing are all pretty obvious," Haynes added. "It's real crowded out there. I was boat No. 50 this morning but several of the places I wanted to start on were already covered up." The humble Haynes was characteristically reticent about patterns and baits, but it's clear he's fishing offshore. He did say he experienced several flurries throughout the day, but that his bigger bites were solo fish that came at random times. "I don't know what I'm doing differently. I'm just doing what I do. This one is going to be a tough tournament. I really think it could wear out tomorrow." Haynes' official weight registered 23 pounds, 8 ounces. Morgan takes control as Thrift, Powroznik, Ehrler stumble Andy Morgan caught 18 pounds Thursday and put some distance between himself and the other Angler of the Year contenders.Morgan couldn't have written the AOY script any better on day one. While he caught a workmanlike 18 pounds, 1 ounce, his biggest threats struggled. Unofficially, Stetson Blaylock, who came into the tournament 32 points behind Morgan, is now in second. But if Morgan catches a mediocre 14 or 15 pounds tomorrow, the 2013 AOY race is all but over. The hometown hero currently sits in 22nd while Blaylock is 14th, unofficially 24 points behind. "Today really went smooth," said Morgan. "I visited a bunch of places, fished real slow and it all worked out. It could be a whole lot worse, but it could also be a little better. But I'm happy with that and I feel like I'm on pace to catch some more fish." Morgan said he doesn't consciously think about AOY or what he'll need to catch tomorrow, instead focusing on making the cut and possibly making a run at winning the tournament. "It would great to win Angler of the Year right here in the hills and hollers of east Tennessee." Morehead second Dan Morehead was ecstatic with his 23-pound, 7-ounce opening-day effort. Barring a colossal meltdown on day two, the Kentucky pro punched his ticket to his 13th Forrest Wood Cup. Second-place pro Dan Morehead holds up his biggest bass from day one on Lake Chickamauga."I'm not catching a lot of keepers, but when I get a bite, it's a quality bite," said Morehead, who weighed all largemouths. Known for his ledge prowess on Kentucky Lake, Morehead wouldn't reveal how he's catching his Chickamauga fish. He did say he stayed on one spot all day and, had just two rods on the deck and that no one came in on him. "I made a long run this morning and then I caught my limit early - like in 45 minutes to an hour. Then I went a few hours without a bite and thought about leaving. But I knew there were big ones there so I never left." Morehead thinks he can duplicate his day-one success if he receives cooperation from other anglers. "If the guys will honor my spot, I think I can catch them again. I figure if I catch about 7 pounds tomorrow I'll get a big check and I'll make the Cup. I've won a lot of titles in bass fishing, but I have yet to win that Cup. It might darn-near kill me, but I will win that Cup." Martin third Casey Martin caught 22 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday and sits in third place.Third-place pro Casey Martin shared an offshore area with Mark Rose and JT Kenney, but still caught a 22-pound, 15-ounce limit. Coming in to the event, Martin sat 54th in the points race and figured he needed somewhere around a top-10 to make the Cup in his rookie season. "I knew there were enough fish there to go around and Mark was nice enough to wave me in," said the New Market, Ala., pro, who left the dock this morning as boat No. 76. While Martin caught his limit on the shared spot, he upgraded two times elsewhere. "That main spot is a school of 2 1/2-to 4-pounders and they're all pretty much suspended fish. It's a ledge in 15 feet of water that drops into 25 feet. This lake is setting up exactly like Guntersville right now." Martin said he's throwing a Strike King 10XD crankbait and a 3/4-ounce Omega football jig with a Paca Craw. "I just hope we can get on it again," Martin said of his main spot. "I did some idling around and I like some other stuff, but I really want to start there. I'm the first of the three, but a lot of people drove by us today." Rose fourth Welcome to In fourth place is Rose, the TVA ledge master. While Martin was intimidated this morning while joining the three-man group, Rose welcomed him as he knew Martin had found the area on his own. "Yeah, there are boats all around me, but I'm on the Tennessee River in the summertime; I'm in my element," said the Walmart pro. "I'm right where I want to be, I just wish I had a few areas to myself. Everything I got, everybody knows about. I'm basically just trying to out-fish everybody and that isn't easy." Rose estimates he caught 15 keepers on the day. His key baits were a Strike King 10XD and a 3/4-ounce Strike King football jig with a Rage Craw trailer. "Hopefully I can get back on my primary area tomorrow. I've got some other places where I can punt, but I really don't want to." Rose's best five weighed 22 pounds, 12 ounces. Day fifth Bill Day not only took fifth place on day one with a 22-pound, 11-ounce limit, but he also had the 3M Scotch Blue Big Bass - a 8-13 monster. Rounding out the top five was Bill Day of Frankfurt, Ky., with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 11 ounces. Anchoring Day's stringer was an 8-pound, 13-ounce giant, the 3M ScotchBlue Big Bass of the day. "There were a couple of other guys there and one saw me catch the big one," Day said. "That's OK. It was exciting. I've had a rough year and today was a blast." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros on Lake Chickamauga after day one: 6th: Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., five bass, 22-10 7th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 22-3 8th: Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., five bass, 20-8 9th: Tom Redington of Royse City, Texas, five bass, 20-6 10th: Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., five bass, 20-2 Johnson leads day one for third time For the third time this season, co-angler Jason Johnson has grabbed the day-one lead, this time Co-angler Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., takes the lead after weighing an impressive 19 pounds, 8 ounces on day one.catching a whopping 19-pound, 8-ounce sack on Chickamauga from the back of Shad Schenck's boat. "I got six bites all day but they were the right ones," said Johnson, who finished second at Eufaula and fourth at Beaver. "I caught that 6-pound, 9-ouncer early and I had five good ones by 10 this morning. I kept fishing, but I made an extra effort to stay out of Shad's way and he caught a big sack too." Johnson still has an outside chance at catching Richard Peek for Co-angler of the Year. But he's really focused on having a better final round - as he's led twice this season with one day remaining only to slide down the leaderboard. "He would have to stumble tomorrow," Johnson said of catching Peek. "But at least I'm putting some pressure on him." Johnson said he basically fished one deep spot all day and couldn't yet reveal how he's catching his fish. Winchester second Second-place co-angler Shane Winchester holds up his two biggest bass from day one. In second place is co-angler Shane Winchester, who fished with Luke Clausen. Winchester said he and Clausen bounced back and forth between shallow and deep. The Glasgow, Ky., co-angler caught eight keepers and his best five weighed 18 pounds, 11 ounces. Three came from shallow water and two were offshore fish. "We were pretty much around fish all day," he said. "We fished deep, shallow, targeted docks and points. I caught most of my fish drop-shotting. That's not my favorite way to fish but sometimes it works as a co-angler." Anchoring Winchester's bag was a pair of 5-pounders. "This lake is just full of fish. It was a slugfest out there for Luke." Kite, Mosley, Smith round out top five John Kite of Festus, Mo., caught an 18-pound, 7-ounce limit for third place among the co-anglers. One of Kite's big fish was a smallmouth that surpassed the 18-inch minimum length requirement. Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., caught a 17-pound limit for fourth. Josh Smith of Hamilton, Ohio, rounds out the top five with 16 pounds, 13 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one: 6th: Kenny Beale Jr. of Blairs, Va., five bass, 16-5 7th: Wesley Watson of Bracey, Va., five bass, 15-12 8th: Mike Hardin Sr. of Robertsdale, Ala., five bass, 15-6 9th: Mike Devere of Berea, Ky., five bass, 15-3 10th: Andrew Luxon of Richmond, Ky., five bass, 15-1 Day two of the FLW Tour on Lake Chickamauga will begin Friday at 6:30 a.m. from the Dayton Boat Dock located at 175 Lakeshore Drive in Dayton.

Tags: headline-story 

/news/2015-05-23-brown-rallies-for-seminole-win

Brown Rallies for Seminole Win

When the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Seminole started on Thursday, hot, slick conditions prevailed. The air temperatures pushed into the 90’s, water temperatures hovered between 80 and 85 degrees – summertime was on. Or was it? READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-jeter-takes-co-angler-crown

Jeter Takes Co-Angler Crown

Call it a local’s sweep at the Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Seminole. While local pro Clint Brown of Bainbridge, Ga., won the boater Division, his Bainbridge neighbor, Greg Jeter won the Co-angler Division to make it a local twofer. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-23-lake-seminole-day-3-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 3 Midday Update

Second place pro Clint Brown was gaining some serious ground on Reneau as Brown had boxed four solid keepers for about 11 pounds on his very first spot – all caught from protected backwaters with a topwater. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »