UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Norman

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Montgomery in motion

Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., has been on a fish-catching tear recently and he's not letting up -- he now leads day one of the FLW Series Eastern event on Lake Chickamauga with 16-11

HIXSON, Tenn. - Shallow grass or deeper ledges? That was the big question on day one of the FLW Series Eastern Division event on Lake Chickamauga.

And, not surprisingly, the two tactics are in a dead heat after the day-one weigh-in.

In one camp, the Carolina crew, consisting of Andy Montgomery, Chris Baumgardner and Bryan Thrift, all hold down spots among the top five.

Meanwhile, two TVA ledge specialists, Mark Rose and Ramie Colson, also have nabbed territory in the top five.

Though Chickamauga did not produce any limits cracking the 17-pound mark, the lake provided 35 pros with five-bass limits, and the top-five cut now stands at 15-1, pretty much on par with what was predicted.

Leading the event is Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., who has been a fish-catching machine over the last 12 months. Montgomery brought in five bass weighing 16 pounds, 11 pounds to set the leader's mark on day one.

Covering a lot of shallow water with fast-moving baits is the trademark of the Carolina contingent, which is exactly what Montgomery did today.

"I'm flipping some and throwing a ChatterBait some, but it's all grass-related," Montgomery said. "The fish bit good early - I caught a dozen or so by 11 o'clock."

Montgomery is jumping the gun on a fall pattern, noting there would probably be more fish in his areas if the water was cooler.

"I'm still kind of practicing as I go," he continued. "I know what I'm looking for, but I can't really ride the lake and see it. I have to get on the trolling motor and fish and fish until I get into the right type of area, then I'll slow down a bit."

What Montgomery enjoyed most about the day was having his water and pattern to himself.

"I fished by myself most of the day, and I liked it," he added. "There was only one other boat in one of my areas; other than that, I had it to myself."

Rose second Pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., grabs the second place spot with his ledge-fishing expertise with 16-7.

Mark "the ledge-master" Rose of Marion, Ark., followed in second place with 16 pounds, 7 ounces.

Though Rose is not completely comfortable with the "ledge-master" moniker, his FLW tournament record proves his ledge-mining prowess on TVA impoundments in the summer and fall. And it's safe to say he feels really comfortable when his Lowrance unit is reading the Tennessee River channel below him.

"Well, I don't know about being called the `ledge-master,'" Rose laughed. "But I will say I love fishing ledges on the TVA - it's in my blood right now."

Rose is fishing ledges this week, but he's a little worried about the number of places he has located.

"I only have two schools of fish, and they're pretty far apart," Rose said. "I'd feel more comfortable if I had eight, 10 or 12 schools located, but I've only got two schools to work with, and that's not enough if I have company on one or both."

Baumgardner third
Pro Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., went shallow for 15-11 to start the event in third place.
Now back to the Carolina crew: Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., is in third place with 15 pounds, 11 ounces.

No surprises here: Baumgardner is mowing through grass, fishing depths of 3 to 5 feet.

"The morning bite is good, but it gets pretty tough in the afternoon," Baumgardner said. "I only had five keeper bites today, so I'm a little worried about tomorrow. I've got a couple of places I did not hit today that I'm saving, and I'm probably going to put those in route tomorrow just to get another five keepers."

Thrift fourth

In other Carolina news, Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., is in fourth place with 15 pounds, 4 ounces.Damiki pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., Carolina-rigged his way to fourth place on day one with 15-4.

And while the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year is known for his bank-burning ways, his comment might be the real shocker of the day: "You're not going to believe this, but I caught them all on a Carolina rig today," Thrift revealed.

This past season, Thrift has become proficient at employing his Humminbird side-imaging unit to uncover offshore structure holding fish.

"I caught a couple of keepers early on a buzzbait, but then I went offshore and culled them out," Thrift said. "I caught my entire limit off one place. I tried some other places, too, but that one spot is the only one where I could get bit. I'm not sure how many more fish are there; I just hope there are five more for tomorrow."

Colson fifth
National Guard pro Ramie Colson of Cadiz, Ky., is in fifth place with 15-1 after day one.
Ramie Colson Jr. of Cadiz, Ky., rounds out the top five with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce.

Colson likes TVA ledge fishing, but he did pluck a few off the bank today as well.

"I'm really mixing it up," Colson said. "I'll fish out off the bank for a while, then move up shallow, then go back out. Going back and forth like that lets those offshore places rest for a while."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Series Eastern on Lake Chickamauga after day one:

6th: Derek Remitz of Grant, Ala., five bass, 15-0
7th: Tom Mann Jr., of Buford, Ga., five bass, 14-7
8th: Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., four bass, 12-15
9th: Darrin Schwenkbeck of Varysburg, N.Y., five bass, 12-10
10th: Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., five bass, 12-2

Combs leads co-anglers

In the Co-angler Division, Aaron Combs of Jackson, Ky., leads with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces.
Aaron Combs of Jackson, Ky., shows of his 8-pound Lake Chickamauga lunker that helped put him in the lead in the Co-angler Division with a total of 16-4.
Combs' catch was anchored by an 8-pound Chickamauga lunker, his first fish of the day. In fact, it was the first bass he has ever caught on Lake Chickamauga.

"I've never been here before," Combs said. "This was the first time I fished the lake, and that big bass was my first fish of the day."

Combs found his success today on weightless Senkos fished around the grass.

Roy second

Patrick Roy of Syracuse, N.Y., is in second place with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces.

"I caught most of my fish deep, in 20 to 25 feet of water with worms and jigs," Roy said.

Rest of the best

Gerrit Goins of Cleveland, Tenn., is in third place with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces.

Roger Wideman of McCormick, S.C., is in fourth place with four bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces.

Rounding out the top five is Ralph Mulleins of Cumberland, Va., with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces.

Co-angler Patrick Roy of Syracuse, N.Y., is in second place after day one with 12-2.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW Series Eastern on Lake Chickamauga after day one:

6th: Pat Lay of Cleveland, Tenn., five bass, 8-5
7th: James Sharp of Leesburg, Ga., three bass, 8-1
8th: Anthony Hunt of Tamarac, Fla., four bass, 7-15
9th: Jason Law of Waycross, Ga., two bass, 7-12
10th: D.L. Tanner of Hixson, Tenn., three bass, 7-3

Day two of the FLW Series Eastern on Lake Chickamauga will begin Thursday at 7 a.m. at Chester Frost Park.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2010-09-15-lake-chickamauga 

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