UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Wilkinson holds atop Nickajack

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 

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga featured good fishing with a lot of pressure put on the offshore fish. Making the most of his local knowledge, Jacob Wheeler weighed 24 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead on day one. Behind him, John Cox weighed in 23-6 for second place. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fourth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale totaling 10 pounds, 11 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $5,127, but Mabelvale’s Quincy Houchin was the big winner on the weekend. Houchin finished second Saturday – good for $3,139 – then backed it up with a win on Sunday, which earned him the top prize of $12,309, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. READ MORE »

Morgan, Chandler Win on High Rock

Morgan, Chandler Win on High Rock

Boaters Brian Morgan of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win Saturday’s event, while Kevin Chandler of New London, North Carolina, brought in a limit weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces on Sunday to earn the win. Morgan earned $5,511 for his win Saturday, while Chandler won Sunday’s top prize of $4,359. READ MORE »

Bama Division Goes Back-to-Back

Bama Division Goes Back-to-Back

Boaters Jason Nixon of Wetumpka, Alabama, and Byron Smith of Tyrone, Georgia, both brought a five-bass limit to the scale totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces to tie for the win at Saturday’s event, while Hunter Hayes of Gadsden, Alabama, brought in a limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces on Sunday to earn the win. Nixon and Smith each earned $2,937 for their wins Saturday, while Hayes won Sunday’s top prize of $4,545. READ MORE »