UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Wilkinson holds atop Nickajack

Chris Wilkinson said fishing was tougher on day two, but still he maintained his lead on Nickajack Lake.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - He exceeded his target weight, found a new spot that'll play for the final round and held onto his lead. So, despite an overall tougher bite, things worked out okay for Indiana boater Chris Wilkinson in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake.

Yesterday, Wilkinson took the top spot with a 20-pound, 10-ounce limit - the only bag to break 20 and thus far, the tournament's heaviest catch. Wilkinson carried a 1-pound, 14-ounce lead into day two and expanded that margin to 2-5 by catching 18-15 and tallying a two-day total of 39-9.

"I had to work for them a little more today, but toward the end I found a spot that was loaded up pretty good," he said. "I was shooting for around 15-16 pounds and I knew I had 17-18 so I backed off. I quit fishing about an hour early."

On day one, Wilkinson threw a Paycheck Baits Repo Man topwater early and then flipped HawgbackDay-two leader Chris Wilkinson shows off one of his big fish as his children look on. Lures tubes and 11 1/2-inch Bauer Custom Baits worms from mid-morning through the day's end. Day two, he said, saw a different set of conditions alter his approach.

Day-one dawned with dark clouds looming across Nickajack and it wasn't long until scattered storms dropped rain on much of the area. Cloud cover remained until midday, with mostly sunny skies prevailing for the day's latter third. By contrast, today saw a bright sunrise and only thin, hazy clouds, so day two was much brighter.

Topwaters got no love on day two, so Chris Wilkinson stuck with tubes and worms."I did not get a bite on topwater today," Wilkinson said. "My situation today changed completely. I caught all my fish today flipping soft plastics and that was the only way I could get them to bite. I didn't even get a little fish to come up and eat a topwater. The sun was the big thing. Unless you're fishing matted grass, the sun's not good for topwaters."

On the other hand, Wilkinson noted that sunny conditions helped his flipping game. He basically mixed up the baits to maintain a fresh presentation but trusted his instinct on when to throw either one.

Wilkinson said he got his better bites later in the day. This, he surmises, was probably due to the fact that the high, sunny conditions locked the fish closer to cover. When that happens, it becomes easier to make targeted presentations.

"That made them easier to find," Wilkinson said.

Milner "races" into second

In second place, Kerry Milner, of Bono, Ark., gained four spots on day two by catching the day's heaviest sack - 19-4. Paired with his day-one effort of 18-0, Milner's second-day sack yielded a total weight of 37-4.

Essential to his success, Milner said, was a total commitment to the right spot. In doing so, he corrected a day-one mistake and the results were undeniable.

"I stayed at the spot I should have stayed at yesterday all day today," he said. "Yesterday, I got (nervous) and ran around the lake some. Today, I ran to one spot and never started my motor until it was time to come in. I got fortunate today and caught a limit the first hour."

Milner ran upriver and fished a 100-yard stretch in the Chickamauga dam tailrace. Milner was one of only a few boats that headed upriver at the morning takeoff, but this was a well-planned strategy.

"In practice, I found some schools of fish downriver, but that's where everybody was fishing," he said. "All the good spots were getting hit by too many people. I have a good current seam I'm fishing below the dam and I'm confident it will keep loading with fish.

"The fish that live there are strong, healthy fish. They're thick from the tail up. They're fighting that current all the time, so they (grow heavy)."

Milner caught his bass in 13-15 feet in areas with scattered rock. He fished a homemade football head with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail and a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog.

Bradley moves up to third

Local boater Corey Bradley moved up to fifth place on day two.Local boater Corey Bradley, of McDonald, Tenn., demonstrated the benefit of local knowledge by essentially wrapping up his day before 8 a.m. Fishing about 30 minutes from the take-off site at Ross' Landing, Bradley said that once he got setup on his spot, that action started immediately. By day's end, he had caught a limit weighing 17-1 and raised his total to 35-2.

"I made 15 casts this morning, had 16 pounds and left," Bradley said. "I had my weight five minutes after I got there. After that, I just looked around, checked out some other spots and looked for more fish (day three). I went back to my spot about an hour later for the (TV camera crew) and caught a 4-pounder and culled one more time."

Bradley caught his fish on ¾- and 1-ounce Choo Choo Lures football head jigs with a NetBait Paca Chunk trailer.

"I was stroking the jig really hard today because they were suspended about 4 feet off the bottom," Bradley said. "They were hitting it pretty good today."

Gordon slips to fourth

Shawn Gordon gave up two spots from his second-place performance on day one, but the boaterFourth-place boater Shawn Gordon found flipping most productive. from Russellville, Ark. kept himself in the hunt with a solid limit of 14-12. Added to his first-day's catch of 18-12, today's sack gave him a two-day total of 33-8.

Returning to his day-one game plan, Gordon threw a Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait to secure his limit with plans of upgrading later with a jig.

"It took me until 10 o'clock today to get a limit cranking and then I went and culled all of them out," he said. "So tomorrow, I think I'll go flipping all day and see if I can make up some ground."

Gordon caught all of his better fish on laydowns. Flipping his baits on the upcurrent side and allowing them to naturally wash back under the cover was the most effective presentation.

Williams improves to fifth

North Carolina boater David Williams had to locate new spots today, but his first fish was a 6-pounder.After beginning day two in 11th place, David G. Williams, of Maiden, N.C., sacked up 17-4 and moved up six spots to fifth place with 32-9. Declining river levels laid bare some of his better spots, so finding new areas quickly took priority.

"I went to the areas where I caught my limits yesterday and they completely dried up; I didn't even catch a fish off of them," Williams said. "I went and ran new water the rest of the day and the first fish I caught was about 6 pounds. That was about 8:30 and then by about 9:45 I had a limit.

"After that I just ran new water. That's the way river fishing is - you see something that looks good and you stop and fish it. The problem now is that the water is down so you're limited on the banks that are good. Some of them have more water than others so you have to find those."

Williams caught his fish on Rico poppers, Shooter Jigs and Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog and Speed Craws.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the BFL All-American:

6th: Eric Poindexter, of Eufaula, Ok., 32-3
7th: Michael Black, of Toledo, Ill., 31-5
8th: Jeremy Lawyer, of Sarcoxie, Mo., 30-6
9th: Lionel Botha, of Okeechobee, Fla., 29-12
10th: Michael Murphy, of Lexington, S.C., 29-10

Angiulo goes deep for co-angler lead

Nick Angiulo, of Hainesport, N.J., faced a completely different scenario than what he experienced onDragging Texas-rigged plastics in deep water put Nick Angiulo atop the co-angler division. day one, but on the back of the boat, it's all about adaptability. Taking this to heart, Angiulo shifted gears and sacked up an even 14 pounds that boosted his total to 25-13 and moved him up five spots to first place in the co-angler division.

"We fished 100-percent different than I did yesterday," Angiulo said. "Yesterday, I was fishing a dropshot in shallow water and today I was basically dragging a Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog with a heavy weight in deeper water."

Angiulo said watermelon candy and green pumpkin blue were his top colors. A 1/2-ounce tungsten weight provided critical sensitivity in the 10- to 15-foot depths.

"This weight is very sensitive and it really helped me determine what was a rock and what was a bite," he said.

Craig Hulsey, of Park Hills, Mo., trails the co-angler lead by 3 ounces with his two-day total of 25-10. In third place, Eddie Cook, of Clemmons, N.C., had 24-4; while Will Terrell, of Memphis, Tenn. took fourth with 23-9. Fifth place went to Chad Richardson, of Bangor, Wisc., who caught 21-0.

Co-angler David Williams caught the dayBest of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the BFL All-American:

6th: Tim Cales, of Sandstone, W.V., 20-15
7th: Daniel Buswell, of Newnan, Ga., 20-15
8th: David Williams, of Fredericksburg, Va., 19-15
9th: Rod Huff, of Monterey, Tenn., 19-6.
10th: Ben Wright, of Peru, N.Y., 18-12

Day three of BFL All-American on Nickajack Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Eastern) at Ross's Landing located at 200 Riverfront Pkwy. in Chattanooga.

Related links:

To read the BFL All-American day-three morning takeoff story, click here.

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

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

Roder Out Front on Big O

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »