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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Practice with Casey Martin

Martin lands a small keeper on the final day of practice.

Last time the Walmart FLW Tour stopped at Lake Chickamauga, then-rookie Casey Martin sacked over 100 pounds and won the event. As well as being a tremendous win for a rookie, the entire experience was documented on Circuit Breaker for an inside look at the entire process of winning a tournament. Now that we’re back on the scene of Martin’s greatest triumph, I jumped at the chance join him for a few hours the last morning of official practice to see how he approached the lake.

 

I met Martin at Chester Frost Park at 8 a.m. sharp - he'd been on the water since daybreak, but the way he broke down the lake didn't lead him to a convenient pick up location until a little later.

I met Martin at Chester Frost Park at 8 a.m. sharp – he’d been on the water since daybreak, but the way he broke down the lake didn’t lead him to a convenient pick up location until a little later.

 

It thinned out a little once we got in the main lake, but the Chester Frost area was pretty crowded early on. Considering that most reports say the new Tennessee state record was caught right in front of the park, that is very understandable.

It thinned out a little once we got in the main lake, but the Chester Frost area was pretty crowded early on. Considering that most reports say the new Tennessee state record was caught right in front of the park, that is very understandable.

 

The Keystone Light pro broke out a double hair jig to do a little prospecting. It is a fun rig, but only legal in practice, Martin will have to shelve it during the tournament due to rule No. 12. Though Martin planned to do some idling, he was also checking previously marked schools and doing some fishing.

The Keystone Light pro broke out a double hair jig to do a little prospecting. It is a fun rig, but only legal in practice, Martin will have to shelve it during the tournament due to rule No. 12. Though Martin planned to do some idling, he was also checking previously marked schools and doing some fishing.

 

Luke Clausen was also doing some fishing on the final day of practice. In fact, a surprising number of anglers had a rod in hand on the last day. The fact that Chick is a smaller ledge lake probably left more time for guys to fish after finding them.

Luke Clausen was also doing some fishing on the final day of practice. In fact, a surprising number of anglers had a rod in hand on the last day. The fact that Chick is a smaller ledge lake probably left more time for guys to fish after finding them.

 

Martin idles in a zig-zag pattern, so the bottom of the lake isn't quite as bumpy as the DownScan shows. What it shows in the photo is gizzard shad, unfortunately for Martin, finding shad isn't a guarantee that you find bass.

Martin idles in a zig-zag pattern, so the bottom of the lake isn’t quite as bumpy as the DownScan shows. What it shows in the photo is gizzard shad, unfortunately for Martin, finding shad isn’t a guarantee that you find bass.

 

These are bass. According to Martin, the bass tend to show up a little crisper than other fish. These are suspended, so they aren't as catchable as they would be if they were stacked on the break. Nonetheless, it could be a good place to revisit if the current start flowing.

These are bass. According to Martin, the bass tend to show up a little crisper than other fish. These are suspended, so they aren’t as catchable as they would be if they were stacked on the break. Nonetheless, it could be a good place to revisit if the current starts flowing.

 

Martin eyes his bow graph as he fishes a school. He runs a Lowrance HDS-12 as his primary fish-finding unit at the console with a Humminbird to run LakeMaster maps next to it.

Martin eyes his bow graph as he fishes a school. He runs a Lowrance HDS-12 as his primary fish-finding unit at the console with a Humminbird to run LakeMaster maps next to it.

 

There's nothing more traditional than a football jig on the ledges. Martin tied one on and stroked it for a while on a fish-holding ledge. Unfortunately, there were no takers.

There’s nothing more traditional than a football jig on the ledges. Martin tied one on and stroked it for a while on a fish-holding ledge. Unfortunately, there were no takers.

 

Time for a drink. The morning started out very pleasant, but east Tennessee warmed up fast.

Time for a drink. The morning started out very pleasant, but east Tennessee warmed up fast.

 

Anthony Gagliardi idles a nearby ledge. Martin and Gagliardi seemed to be on top of each other nearly the entire morning. Obviously both are pretty good at finding productive ledges.

Anthony Gagliardi idles a nearby ledge. Martin and Gagliardi seemed to be on top of each other nearly the entire morning. Obviously both are pretty good at finding productive ledges.

 

No, he's not hooked up. Martin is stroking a spoon on an offshore school. Martin ripped the magnum spoon up pretty quickly, but it wasn't anywhere close to the hookset speed that some people work the spoon with.

No, he’s not hooked up. Martin is stroking a spoon on an offshore school. Martin ripped the magnum spoon up pretty quickly, but it wasn’t anywhere close to the hookset speed that some people work the spoon with.

 

Oh baby. It's a Chickamauga giant. A fish this size might come in handy to fire up a school, but Martin will need them to get a lot bigger for the tournament.

Oh baby. It’s a Chickamauga giant. A fish this size might come in handy to fire up a school, but Martin will need them to get a lot bigger for the tournament.

 

It did fire up the school, but only the little ones wanted to bite. After a couple more casts, Martin dropped me off at Chester Frost and headed back out to finish off the day.

It did fire up the school, but only the little ones wanted to bite. After a couple more casts, Martin dropped me off at Chester Frost and headed back out to finish off the day. 

Tags: lake-chickamauga  casey-martin  pre-tournament  2015-06-11-lake-chickamauga 

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