UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Final push for Nickajack glory

BFL All-American finalists chat with family and friends prior to the final takeoff.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The buoys in front of Ross' Landing were leaning a little more and chase boats drifted a little faster while awaiting the final takeoff for the Walmart BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake. These indications of strong current flow should bode well for the top 10 boaters and co-anglers seeking their limits of Tennessee River bass.

Current does two good things for bass fishermen: It stimulates feeding and positions fish in predictable locations. Bass like to use rocks, logs and other bottom features to ambush passing At the day-three takeoff, a few boats headed upriver, while most went downriver.prey, so periods of good current flow generally deliver a high degree of opportunity.

In the boater division, Chris Wilkinson, of Farmersburg, Ind., has led the field for the past two days. His primary baits have been a Hawgback Lures tube and an 11 1/2-inch ribbontail worm from Bauer Custom Baits. Wilkinson said the worm has been his top producer around the laydowns and logs he's fishing. The worm's custom color - green pumpkin blue fleck - has proven essential to his success.

"If you get up close to the stuff I'm fishing, you'll notice there's some real little (baitfish) fry," Wilkinson said. "With that blue fleck, I think that when that worm goes by them, they see that blue fleck and they think it's a ball of fry and they're eating it."

Top boater Chris Wilkinson has caught most of his fish on a custom ribbontail worm.Wilkinson also had a couple of topwaters on his deck this morning. Under the cloudy skies of day one, he nabbed a couple of limit fish early on surface baits. Day two brought mostly sunny conditions, so the topwater game went away, but with a mix of clouds and sun on tap for day three, he'll look for occasional topside opportunities.

At the morning takeoff, the majority of boats headed downriver, but Wilkinson headed upriver toward the Chickamauga dam, as did second-place boater Kerry Milner who has found his fish along current seams in the tailrace.

Milner will fish a homemade ¾-ounce football head with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail and a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog. These current fish grow big and strong, he said, but they're also picky about authentic presentations. That's why he'll be paying close attention to water direction.

"Those seams are tricky but you just have to position your boat so you can present your bait in the Kerry Milner will fish the Chickamauga Tailrace with a football head jig.direction the fish are facing," Milner said. "The strong current is obviously coming from upstream, but it's making eddies and back currents. A lot of times, I'm fishing right beside that current going downstream but I'm actually pulling my baits in the direction of an eddy, in that secondary current."

"I think this area is going to keep replenishing, so I'm just going to grind it out and hope for five big bites."

Starting in third-place, local favorite Corey Bradley is hoping to have another fast start like he enjoyed on day two. The difference, he said, will be an all-out maximization effort.

Local angler Kerry Bradley hopes to find the fish he needs over deep structure.On day two Bradley found himself looking at a good limit before 8 a.m., so he backed off his fish to save the potential for today's final round. Bradley has been catching his fish by stroking ¾- and 1-ounce Choo Choo Lures football head jigs with NetBait Paca Chunk trailers in about 20 feet.

Fourth-place boater Shawn Gordon started days one and two by cranking a Bomber Fat Free Shad to catch his limit and then flipping a jig with a curly tail grub trailer to upgrade. Yesterday, however, the jig produced all of weight fish, so he'll devote his entire final day to this pursuit.

David G. Williams starts in fifth place in the boater division and he said he'll be running new water Flipping a jig will be the dominant tactic for fourth-place boater Shawn Gordon.again as he did yesterday. Williams said the good thing about a river system is that he can just run the likely banks and look for the type of cover and depth where he likes to throw Rico poppers, Shooter Jigs and Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog and Speed Craws.

Leading the co-angler division, Nick Angiulo will fish a dropshot baited with a Bitters Mini Wand in watermelon candy. He said that the finesse rig's lighter presentation should give him the right contrast to the larger baits his boater, Wilkinson, will be throwing.

Logistics
Today's final weigh-ins will be at the Walmart located at 3034 Rhea County Highway in Dayton, Tenn., beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Top co-angler Nick Angiulo plans to fish a dropshot with a Bitters Mini Wand worm.Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart in Dayton on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. which includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the BFL All-American will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs Aug. 18 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter In the third-place boat, Corey Bradley and Eddie Cook set out for day three.atTwitter.com/FLWFishing.

Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:30 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees
Expected high temperature: 86 degrees
Wind: West 5-10
Humidity: 60 percent
Day's outlook: Partly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2013-06-27-nickajack-lake 

/news/2016-02-12-top-10-photos-from-lake-okeechobee-

Top 10 Photos from Lake Okeechobee

FLW’s coverage crew was all over the place during the Walmart FLW Tour kickoff presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. The following photos are some of the best taken during a week of wild weather swings and big bass. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-dudley-links-up-with-livingston-lures

Dudley Links Up with Livingston Lures

Livingston Lures has added three-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year David Dudley to its pro-staff. The Virginia pro joins two-time FLW AOY Andy Morgan and former FLW Rookie of the Year Stetson Blaylock on the Team Livingston roster. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-power-pole-extends-partnership-with-flw

Power-Pole Extends Partnership with FLW

FLW announced yesterday that JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems, has signed a sponsorship extension for the 2016 season. This will be the sixth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-flw-college-fishing-western-conference-opens-season-on-shasta-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Conference Opens Season on Shasta Lake

REDDING, Calif. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 20 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »