UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Davis dominating in Knoxville

Davis dominating in Knoxville
Pro leader Mark Davis is all smiles after showing off his 6-pound kicker bass to the Knoxville area crowd.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - As Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., laid five bass weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces into the scale to take a huge day-three lead in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes, all he could do was grin like a Cheshire Cat.

Not only did Davis have a remarkable fishing day to take a 7-14 lead, but it's almost like his other nine competitors fell into a trap that Davis himself had set.

While other anglers bathed in the bed-fishing limelight of the first two days, Davis has worked hard to develop something else other than a strict sight-fishing regimen. The veteran in him knew that sight-fishing could only last so long. Eventually the wells would run dry or the weather would prohibit sight-fishing.

"That's not to say that I haven't sight-fished this week," Davis said after the day-three weigh-in. "Each day I've caught one or two off the bed, including today. But the bulk of my fish are coming on the two topwater wakebaits: a Long A and a King Shad by Strike King. Today, I caught three on the wakebaits, one off bed and one on a wacky worm."

One of those fish caught on the wakebait was a 6-pound-plus largemouth.

"That was a real blessing," he said. "I never expected to catch such a huge fish like that."

Davis is slow-reeling both the Long A and the King Shad along the surface to create a wake - hence the name wakebaits.

In terms of the weather tomorrow, Davis says he needs a couple hours of calm water in the morning to make his wakebaits work.

"If it's not calm enough to use my topwaters, I'll just go largemouth fishing and try to lay it up to protect my lead, if that's what it comes to."

Yelas moves to second

Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, moved up into second place on day three with a five-bassPro Jay Yelas sits in second place after three days of FLW Tour competition on the Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes. limit weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces.

Yelas and Davis are rooming together this week.

"I've had to borrow a couple of baits from Mark this week," Yelas laughed. "I've caught one or two a day on those wakebaits he's throwing, but I've also caught some on a Baby E swimbait and some off beds on Berkley Power worms and tubes. So I'm really just kind of junk fishing.

"Mark really deserves to win this tournament," Yelas said of his friend and fellow competitor. "He has a lot of confidence in what he's doing, and he is dialed in to a pattern that the rest of aren't. I think a lot of us relied on sight-fishing to get to the top 10, and that's kind of going away now. I know I can't find any more on beds, so I'm just going fishing tomorrow."

Lefebre third

Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., is now in third place with four bass weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces.Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., is now in third place after landing four bass weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces.

Lefebre was excited about returning to the area where he found a load of smallmouths yesterday, but when he got there this morning, several local boats were already fishing the area.

"That kind of took the wind out of my sails, but I'm not going to dwell on it," he said. "It's a public lake, and it was a beautiful Saturday here in Tennessee, and who can blame folks for wanting to get out and go fishing? I did go to a few isolated bedding fish that I found yesterday and caught those."

Williams fourth

After sneaking into the top 10 in 10th yesterday, Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., Land Oclawed his way into the fourth position today with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 15 ounces.

"I made the top 10 by power fishing up the river on Loudoun," Williams said. "I didn't have a lot going, and I just went up in the stained water and fished jigs and tubes, pitching really fast while covering a lot of water. I just happened to hit a few good ones in the head and make the top 10."

Going into today, Williams realized he had nothing left on his flipping water, so he switched gears and finesse fished today.

"I got all I could get up there the last two days, so I pretty much stayed around the dam areas today, throwing little worms to scratch out a limit."

Davis fifth

Fifth-place pro Harmon Davis discusses his day with FLW Outdoors CEO Charlie Evans.The other Davis in the top 10, Harmon Davis of Marlow, Okla., is now in fifth place with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces.

Davis stayed close to takeoff for the first portion of the morning to catch four bass and then went looking for sight-fish to fill out his limit.

Rest of the best

6th: Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla., five bass, 9-15
7th: Derek Jones of Chicago, three bass, 9-8
8th: John Sappington of Willard, Mo., five bass, 8-15
9th: Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, five bass, 7-12
10th: Thanh Le of Las Vegas, five bass, 6-2

The final day of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Fort Loudoun and Tellico lakes begins at 7 a.m. Sunday at the Tellico Recreation Area boat ramp.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2007-03-29-fort-loudoun-tellico-lakes 

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