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

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Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 2

Two days into the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga, one thing is for sure: The ledge bite along the main Tennessee River drag has not been much of a factor among the top 10.

When interviewing the top anglers, the words “back in a creek,” or “back in a bay,” or “back inside” or “up shallow” have been used a lot more than the words “on the main river.” That goes for tournament leader Michael Wooley and most of the pros chasing him into the weekend.

For whatever reason, the main Tennessee River flow is not the headliner at Chickamauga this week, especially when compared to postspawn tournaments on other lakes in the chain, such as Kentucky Lake and Pickwick.

Here’s more info on what has been working.

 

Day one leader Bill McDonald caught them again today.

2. Billy McDonald – Greenwood, Ind. – 45 pounds, 5 ounces

Day-one leader Billy McDonald slipped to second place on day two after bringing 15 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale today. For the most part, McDonald is staying well off the river.

“I didn’t fish the shallow grass where I caught two big ones yesterday,” McDonald says. “I wanted to let that area rest today.”

McDonald says that another one of his primary spots is a stumpy, shell-laden point that runs off a huge spawning flat back in a bay. The tip of the point tops out in 12 feet of water before breaking off into a creek ditch that bottoms out in 22 feet.

“It’s more of a cover spot being used by postspawn fish rather than a schooling spot that holds hundreds of fish like you might find out on the river,” he says.

In McDonald’s opinion, these creek and bay bass have always existed on Chickamauga, but they usually get overshadowed by the mega-schools out on the river ledges.

“I think pressure has finally taken its toll on those bass out on the river,” he adds. “Now targeting these backwater bass that have received far less pressure is a more viable option than staring at an uncooperative mega-school on your graph.”

 

3. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 42 pounds, 2 ounces

David Dudley is keeping super silent about the 23-pound, 4-ounce limit he weighed in today to put him in third place.

“I can’t say what it is I’m doing because it’s just too easy for anyone else to go do,” he says. “I’m looking for something specific, and when I see it, it’s automatic. And if I say what it is, anyone can look for it.”

Dudley did confirm that he is not out on the main river looking at schools on his electronics.

“Nope, that’s not happening for me this time,” he hints. “I’m looking for something, but not at my depth finder.”

 

Local favorite Michael Neal showing off some hawgs to the hometown crowd.

4. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 41 pounds, 11 ounces

Michael Neal is running a few main-river schooling spots for his catches, but he is also running a lot of places that are off the river.

“I would say that only two or three out of the 20 or 30 places I’m running are mega-school spots, and even then, there are not any mega-schools on them right now,” Neal says. “They are just community hole type places where a school is subject to show up at any time. If I’m running down the lake and I see one that’s open, I’m going to give it a try. My co-angler caught an 8-pounder off one today, and then we never got another bite off it. That’s uncharacteristic of that type of place.”

Neal says he plans to try more of those community spots tomorrow since most of the field has been eliminated.

“A lot of water should open up tomorrow,” he adds. “I think that’s going to help me because I’ve been skipping so many places that have boats on them. If only half of them are open tomorrow, it will give me a lot more water to fish.”

 

5. Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark. – 41 pounds

Stetson Blaylock has reason to celebrate: This is his first Tennessee River top 20.

“I finally got that TVA ledge monkey off my back,” Blaylock says.

He has avoided the mega-schools this week mostly because there are none – at least where he has searched.

“Some of the best places on this lake just don’t have the fish on them like they did last time [2013],” Blaylock says. “For that reason, I’m doing a little bit of everything and hitting out-of-the-way stuff to keep away from the traffic.

“I’m thinking less pressure out there tomorrow has got to help some of these places that have been beat up so bad,” he adds. “If I see one with no boats on it, I’m going to give it a try. I’ll be curious to see if the fish really are not there or if it’s just been the pressure that has pushed them off those spots.”

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

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