UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 1

The story on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga was not dominated by the mega-school juggernaut that occurred the last time the Tour visited “Chick” in 2013. Bill McDonald’s leading limit of 29 pounds, 12 ounces had nothing to do with a mega-school. In fact, two of his bigger bass – in the 7- to 8-pound class – came from shallow grass.

This time around it seems as if the boats are spread out a little more compared to last time, when four- to six-angler clusters tried to share big ledge schools. Some pros say that’s because the current didn’t run until later in the day today, which had the main-river community holes off the pace of last time. Others believe a delayed spawn still has fish scattered from the bays to the river.

Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today.

 

2. Michael Wooley – Collierville, Tenn. – 26 pounds, 2 ounces

Michael Wooley was another pro who found success as a loner today. He didn’t share water with anyone else. An 8-pound, 11-ounce Chick brute anchored his limit.

“Once I got to my spot, it took about 20 minutes to get them fired up,” he says. “And by 8 o’ clock, I had what I weighed in – all off that one spot.”

Wooley adds that his key spot was not located along the main river.

“It’s off the beaten path, in a creek,” he says. “And I mostly dragged stuff to catch them – a jig and a worm.”

Wooley avoided the main river, not just to avoid pressure, but also because there was no current.

“I don’t like starting on the main river if there is no current,” he explains. “It really takes current to get fish along the main drag active and biting, especially on moving lures. If there is no current, I just think I’m better off back in the bays or creeks where the fish are not as conditioned to moving water.”

 

Say hello to the man who just might take over the AOY lead this week. John Cox is in third place.

3. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 23 pounds, 9 ounces

For further proof that a few shallow fish are still biting, John Cox hauled in 23 pounds, 9 ounces today from 4 feet of water, fishing up against the bank. Cox caught all his fish in a 20-minute flurry.

“I think it was a wolf pack of bass that had pinned some bluegills up against the bank,” Cox says. “It happened so fast that it had to be a school up there cornering some kind of bait.”

All of his fish had bloody tails.

“I believe those fish had just left the bed,” he adds. “I had actually found some nice ones still on beds in that same area during practice. I went up there to see if they were still there, but they were all gone. I fished down the bank just a bit from where they were spawning, and it’s like I found them again as postspawners, eating the first baitfish they could find.”

 

Everyone in Dayton loves the local pro Michael Neal. He opened the tournament with 23 pounds, 6 ounces, which was good enough for fourth place.

4. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 23 pounds, 6 ounces

Hometown favorite Michael Neal spent the day doing what he does best – ledge fishing – to start the event in fourth place.

Neal confirms that fishing along the main river was tough until about noon, when the water finally started moving.

“I only had about 15 pounds at noon,” he says. “For the first half of the day, the only way I could get a bite was to drag something along the bottom.”

Neal hit some 20 spots on the day. Some were back in bays, and some were along the river.

“Once the water started moving, the bite picked up, especially on bigger moving baits,” he says. “I was finally able to start culling through my smaller fish with bigger ones caught on moving baits. Right before we had to check in, I stopped on one last place, had a flurry and culled up three times, which helped a bunch. That’s the difference the current makes late in the day.

Neal finished the day with 23 pounds, 6 ounces.

 

5. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 22 pounds, 11 ounces

Alex Davis played a game of keep-away from the crowds for his fifth-place catch of 23 pounds, 6 ounces.

“I ran down the lake looking for places where there were no boats,” he says. “If I saw a place that did not have a boat on it, I’d pull in there and fish. That’s the way I like to fish here. I can’t stay in any one place too long, especially if there are boats around.”

On one of the vacant spots, Davis hit a school and caught three big bass that culled him up.

“What’s funny is some of the places that had the most boats on them the last time we were here hardly have any boats on them this year,” he adds.

Tags: flw-tour  lake-chickamauga  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-06-11-lake-chickamauga 

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