UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Nickajack niches

BFL All-American competitors eagerly await the day-one takeoff on Nickajack Lake.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - With the country's top 49 boaters and co-anglers actively picking apart Nickajack Lake, it's only a matter of time until options and opportunities start to dwindle. However, strategic thinking and diligent effort may just be the winning combination for the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy.

Nickajack spans approximately 46 miles from its namesake dam upstream to Chickamauga Dam. The vast majority of this Tennessee River reservoir lies downstream from Chattanooga and that's where the majority of anglers will be fishing. (Notably, only a handful of boats headed upriver at the morning takeoff.)

Local pro Corey Bradley said that while anglers should be able catch fish shallow and deep, he'sLocal boater  Corey Bradley will focus on deep water today. planning to stick with the offshore stuff. Staying off the bank, he said, should minimize his exposure to crowded waters.

"You can catch them from 3 feet to 30 feet but I'm going to stay deep and chuck a big swimbait and a jig," Bradley said. "I'm starting off throwing a 1-ounce Choo-Choo Lures jig and then the swimbait has been better for me in the afternoon. The key will be fishing (the baits) very slowly. You just get it down there in front of a fish and they hammer it."

Last year, David Williams of Maiden, N.C., placed third at the All-American on the Potomac River. This week, he has a game plan to avoid a lot of the traffic and congestion.

North Carolina boater David Williams will keep a Rico popper handy throughout the day."I think I'm fishing a little bit different than everybody else," he said. "In practice, it looked like they were going downriver and fishing the grass, road beds and stuff like that. I'm going to stay up (close to downtown Chattanooga), flipping, throwing a topwater and stuff like that."

Williams said his pre-fishing proved productive, with several days that could have produced 20-pound bags. Yesterday's official practice day, however, was much slower - possibly due to the hot, still conditions. The tournament forecast includes cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms, so Williams is hoping this will stimulate the fish.

"We have a front moving through, so maybe that will make them bite," he said. "Yesterday, it was pretty dead but we got some wind later in the day and the bite turned on - it made it 100 times better."

Robbie Walser, who won the 2006 All-American, also thinks he has a pattern that will give him an edge. Understandably, he did not want to divulge too much about what he's fishing, but Walser noted that his depth and habitat preference should keep him away from the crowds.

"The lake is going to fish extremely small," Walser noted. "There are only 49 of us, but there's goingPast All-American champion Robert Walser hopes to tempt a few big bites with a crankbait. to be a lot of company everywhere we stop. I've tried to practice so that I didn't have to fish with everyone else and just fish some stuff that nobody else wanted to fish. It worked in prefishing and I had some 18- to 19-pound days by fishing stuff that everybody else would just drive by and not even stop on."

Walser noted that the lake level had declined about 9 inches since yesterday and he's hoping this contraction further concentrates fish on his isolated spots. He'll throw a mix of crankbaits and soft plastics.

Wisconsin boater Mike Brueggen has a dialed-in plan that will depend greatly on his ability to access certain spots. He's hoping the day's traffic will enable him to take advantage of a numbers game.

Making his fourth All-American appearance,  Mike Brueggen will fish a swim jig on day one."I think there are a lot of fish in this river system and they're kind of grouped up," he said. "Boat pressure is going to be an issue, but if you get on the right group of fish, it's pretty easy. I have four groups of fish and if I make my rotations right, I hope to get a lot of bites. Time management will be a big key and boat pressure, because when you make your rotation, if there's a boat on your spot, it can hurt you."

Tournament regulations allow anglers to keep one smallmouth bass within their 5-fish aggregate limit. Williams said he might take advantage of that one brown fish to fatten up his limit.

"If I can get a good limit (of largemouth), I might go up the river behind the (Chickamuaga Dam) and fish for that one smallmouth," he said. "There are 5- and 6-pound smallmouth in here. If you can find one of them, it will boost your bag."

Logistics
Anglers will take off from Ross's Landing located at 200 Riverfront Pkwy. in Chattanooga at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will also be at Ross's Landing the first two days of competition beginning at 3 p.m. and at the Walmart located at 3034 Rhea County Highway in Dayton, Tenn., the final day of competition beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart in Dayton on Saturday from noon to 4 At the day-one takeoff, only a handful of boats headed upriver toward the Chickamauga Dam.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 atTwitter.com/FLWFishing.

Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:29 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 72 degrees
Expected high temperature: 85 degrees
Wind: WSW 5-10 mph, switching ESE 5-10
Humidity: 73 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy, isolated thunderstorms possible

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

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Amistad

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Amistad

Wintertime patterns with just a touch of prespawn action dominated the Costa FLW Series opener presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, umbrella rigs, swimbaits and drop-shots were the go-to baits used by the top finishers. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Amistad

Top 10 Baits from Lake Amistad

Wintertime bass fishing tactics dominated at Lake Amistad in January, as the top finishers relied on jerkbaits, crankbaits, drop-shots, swimbaits and umbrella rigs to get the job done. READ MORE »

Childs Holds on for Co-angler Win

Childs Holds on for Co-angler Win

Jay Childs caught two giant largemouths on day one, along with a smaller keeper, to take the early lead at Lake Amistad. Then he survived today for the win with a pair of keepers that included one smallmouth. READ MORE »

Hanselmania Wins Again at Amistad

Hanselmania Wins Again at Amistad

Ray “Hanselmania” Hanselman won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Amistad today with a two-day total of 38 pounds. The tournament was shortened to two days after day one was cancelled due to severe weather. Hanselman opened the tournament Friday with a 25-pound, 15-ounce catch that put him 9-7 ahead of second place. He could’ve stayed home today and still won the tournament, but the local angler added 12-1 to finish the blowout win. Second-place finisher Tyson Patrick’s two-day total only equaled what Hanselman caught on day one. READ MORE »

Amistad Midday Update - Day 3

Amistad Midday Update - Day 3

Lake Amistad was in a stingy mood for the final day of Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division action, as evidenced by a lot of long-faced anglers with lots of vacancy in their livewells. A slightly warmer day began with flat, calm conditions, but a light breeze was gaining some consistency by early afternoon. It’s possible that the growing ripples may break up the surface enough to stimulate a few fish into chasing reaction baits. READ MORE »

Amistad Midday Update – Day 2

Amistad Midday Update – Day 2

Prespawn staging is probably just around the corner, but for now the big and small fish in Amistad are still in their winter patterns — holding on main lake points and structure, lounging in the low grass lining the mouths of creeks and pockets and filling their bellies. READ MORE »

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Amistad is one of south Texas’ most famous reservoirs – the other being Falcon. Though it’s not the juggernaut that it was in the not too distant past, Amistad is still an incredible tournament fishery, with room to spread out and plenty of grass and rocky structure to target for big giant wintertime bass. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Amistad – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Amistad – Day 2

Wintertime bass fishing tactics are in play at Lake Amistad for the Costa FLW Series opener. The tactics used today offer a good how-to lesson in dealing with early season conditions. READ MORE »

Hanselman Way in Front at Amistad

Hanselman Way in Front at Amistad

Ray "Hanselmania" Hanselman caught a massive 25-pound, 15-ounce limit of largemouth bass at Lake Amistad in south Texas to take the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division opener. READ MORE »

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Mother Nature will deliver a big part of the story this week as the 2018 Costa FLW Series season comes to a close on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, will wrap up the Central Division and finalize the field for the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Two heavy-hitting days buoyed Gregory Troughton to a 6-pound, 11-ounce lead going into a tough day three in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. The Discovery Bay, Calif., pro stumbled in the final round with a limit of 12-13, but outlasted the field and secured the win with 60-2. Troughton caught most of his fish by punching a Yamamoto Flappin Hog, but he added a few keepers on a Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jackhammer and a Don Iovino Splash-It popper. Read on to learn about the rest of the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division finale presented by Power-Pole on the Cal Delta presented challenging conditions due to the autumn transition and the effects of herbicide spraying. Still, typical Delta baits were used by the bulk of the top finishers, who picked their way through aquatic grasses and miles of riprap.  Here's a look at what the top 10 used on the Delta. READ MORE »

Troughton Triumphs on Cal Delta

Troughton Triumphs on Cal Delta

Despite a slow day that yielded only 12 pounds, 13 ounces, Gregory Troughton of Discovery Bay, Calif., held on to his day-two lead and won the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta with a three-day total of 60-2. Days one and two saw Troughton catch all of his fish on a heavy punch rig. Day three brought challenging post-frontal conditions, and he had to vary his presentations. A popper and a ChatterBait added key fish today. READ MORE »

Traba’s Big Bag Earns Delta Win

Traba’s Big Bag Earns Delta Win

Talk about saving the best for last. Jacob Traba sacked up a limit of 17 pounds, 6 ounces — the tournament’s heaviest co-angler bag — to win his division at the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Traba’s three-day total was 40-2. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Everyone knows the California Delta is one fickle fishery, and that disposition seems to be on display today for the final round of the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Power-Pole. Day-two leader Gregory Troughton carried a ton of momentum into day three with a lead of more than 6 pounds. However, we spent the better part of the morning with Troughton, and the magic was not happening. Not to say it will not happen at some point, but the leader will need to have a strong afternoon. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Specifically targeting big bass and catching a 9-pound, 4-ounce fish put Gregory Troughton in the lead by a margin of 6 pounds, 11 ounces at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Troughton caught the largest bag of two day, 24-14, and holds the top spot with 47-5 READ MORE »

9-Pounder Anchors Troughton’s Lead

9-Pounder Anchors Troughton’s Lead

Gregory Troughton of Discovery Bay, Calif., caught 24 pounds, 14 ounces — the biggest bag of the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament on the California Delta — and took over the day-two lead with a two-day total of 47-5. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 2

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 2

As expected, today’s changing weather has shuffled the deck for anglers fishing the Costa FLW Series Western Division tournament on the California Delta. After the mostly calm and hot conditions of day one, the second round began about 14 degrees cooler with gusty winds of 15 mph. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns From the Cal Delta – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns From the Cal Delta – Day 1

A key flipping bite from a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass anchored a day-one catch of 22-11 for Jerred Jennings, who leads the Costa FLW Series Western Division event on the California Delta. READ MORE »