UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Nickajack niches

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 

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Clear Lake

An unwavering commitment to one fish-laden area enabled Kyle Grover to earn his first Costa FLW Series win with a three-day total of 66 pounds, 13 ounces at the Western Division event at Clear Lake. The tournament was presented by Ranger Boaters and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Power-fishing tactics with spinnerbaits, jigs, Texas rigs and ChatterBaits on prespawn cover and structure dominated the top 10 at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in April. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

April is transition time in the Tennessee Valley, when bass make their push from prespawn staging areas toward spawning grounds. They set up on rocky banks, shallow points and any kind of wood cover near shore in areas adjacent to spawning pockets. As we saw at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, some of the best baits for catching bass this time of year are old-school springtime classics: spinnerbaits, jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and Texas rigs. Add in vibrating jigs and wobble-head jigs, and you have about all you need. READ MORE »

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

One fish is unlikely to win a three-day tournament, but the right one can help an angler dig out of a hole. Just ask co-angler Troy Bickers, who rebounded from the dreaded day-one goose egg to go worst-to-first in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake with a winning weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

With just two fish in the bag, Jake Morris was noticeably nervous at the final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need either one of them, as Morris caught enough the first two days to top the next closest finisher. Catching 5-12 today punctuated the wire-to-wire victory for Morris, who brought in 44-2 in three days. He caught almost every fish on a spinnerbait from one key stretch on Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Question marks are about the only certainty for day three of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, as the top 10 pros scattered and left us lean on details on a day where changing weather could see changing fortunes. After two dreary days of cloudy, dim conditions, the final round brought lots of the bright, sunny stuff that pushes fish tighter to cover and makes them easier to target. Also, considerably more warmth may very well put the giddy-up on seasonal progression. No one’s getting too crazy with visions of heavy bed-fishing, but accelerated prespawn movement is certainly possible. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and vibrating jigs fished on rocky staging areas has been the primary pattern for catching big prespawn largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lawrence. READ MORE »