UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

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Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

It was easy to tell where Kentucky pro Terry Bolton started fishing Saturday morning. The nuclear power plant on Lake Chickamauga is in the background.

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1:55 p.m.: Final minutes are ticking away

The 20 pros on Lake Chickamauga today in the Walmart FLW Tour event must check in at Dayton Boat Dock at 2:45 p.m. With less than an hour to fish, several have already pulled the plug on their primary patterns to go swing for a last-minute miracle kicker. Alex Davis has gone to the bank. Brad Knight is running around looking for a spot that's not covered up with boats.

Others are grinding it out on their best spots and hoping the school will turn on once again. Count Larry Nixon and Stetson Blaylock in that group.

Michael Wooley is wisely laying off his fish. He did most of his damage early today, and he left the rest of the school to avoid pressuring those fish any more than necessary.

No one has caught Wooley yet, but a few anglers are threatening. Will anyone catch him? Find out at 4 p.m. ET at FLWFishing.com on FLW Live.

 

1:15 p.m.: Several pros are closing in on 20 pounds

With about 90 minutes to fish, several pros are pushing toward the 20-pound mark, but by our estimates no one has passed it yet. Michael Wooley, David Dudley and Stetson Blaylock all have about 18 to 19 1/2 pounds. Behind them are 10 pros with 13 to 15 pounds: John Cox, Terry Bolton, Darrell Davis, Charlie Ingram, Scott Martin, Alex Davis, Bryan Schmitt, Richard Peek, Tom Redington and Larry Nixon.

Local favorite Michael Neal has four keepers, including a 5-pounder, but there's still time left for him to fill his limit and make a move.

We're seeing everything from drop-shotting to dragging jigs and worms to ripping hair jigs, and even some shallow fishing with soft plastics and topwater. Most of the bites have come in flurries of several bites at a time. That's why you can't count out any of the guys chasing Wooley. Any one of them could crack a couple of 5-pound-plus bass to make a run at him.

 

11:00 a.m.: Unofficial weight estimates

With three hours and 45 minutes left to fish, here are the unofficial weight estimates from FLW's marshals:

Wooley - 19 1/2

McDonald - 10 1/2

Dudley - 17

Neal - 3 1/2

Blaylock - 14 1/2

Meyer - 4

Cox - 13 1/2

Bolton - 13 1/2

Ingram - 4

C. Davis - 3

D. Davis - 10

Martin - 13 1/2

Biggs - 3

A. Davis - 12

Schmitt - 13 1/2

Peek - 13

Knight - 2

Redington - 14

Thrift - 11

Nixon - 7

 

11:40 a.m.: The current is flowing wide open now, and several pros are loading the boat

Stetson Blaylock and Terry Bolton are capitalizing on the increased current flow that just started flowing in Chickamauga to sack up fish after fish. Bolton is up to about 15 1/2 pounds, and Blaylock has 17 and change.

Primarily, the current has the pros on the move. They're running to their better spots down by the dam where the effects of the current are felt first. Expect some big-fish reports to stream in during the next few minutes.

 

10:00 a.m.: Weights are starting to stack up in the mid-teens, but a mid-morning lull has set in

The action comes in fits and spurts on Lake Chickamauga. This morning from about 7:30 to 9, everyone was catching fish. Several pros caught 15 to 17 pounds, led by Michael Wooley, who went on an absolute tear to catch an upper teens limit. A few big ones have been caught too, including a 7-pounder caught by Stetson Blaylock.

Right now, however, things seem to have slowed, but it won't last long. John Cox just put a 4 1/2-pounder in the boat, which might signal the start of another flurry. All week, he's been getting his bites in 45-minute windows.

 

9:05 a.m.: David Dudley is chipping away, but Wooley continues to stride ahead

A 5-pounder to cull has Michael Wooley sitting in pretty good shape right now. He has an upper "teens" limit. Behind him in third place is David Dudley, who has only four fish, but those four weigh about 14 pounds. Dudley is definitely on the right quality of fish.

Clent Davis is around good ones too, but they just won't bite. He was throwing a swimbait, and a gang of five 7-pounders followed the bait up to the boat. Davis says it was the craziest thing he's ever seen. If he can convert the followers and short-strikers into biters, he could get back in contention quickly.

 

8:15 a.m.: Michael Wooley is the man to beat right now

It didn't take tournament leader Michael Wooley very long to put together a strong limit this morning. He's already up to about 16 or 17 pounds. He's got two 4-pounders in the livewell and needs to cull a couple more to get back into the 20-pound range. If he does that, he'll be tough to catch.

The ledge bite really seems to be on this morning. A few pros are catching them more from middepth areas though too.

Local pro Michael Neal has just one keeper, a 3 1/2-pounder. He's also dealing with a small crowd of spectators. Charlie Ingram and Brad Knight have been sharing their best spots with some locals up on Watts Bar. The pressure might get to a few of these pros today.

 

7:35 a.m.: It's a fast start for Wooley and company

The catch reports are coming in fast now. Michael Wooley has a pair of decent keepers. David Dudley has a 3 1/2-pounder, but he's got several pounds to make up to catch the leader. Larry Nixon in 20th place has the biggest fish of the day so far. His marshal estimates it at 4 1/2 pounds. Darrell Davis and Scott Martin have one apiece, while Stetson Blaylock has two.

We saw a variety of offshore baits on pros' boats this morning at takeoff, and many of them had eight to 10 rods rigged up. Baits included spoons, swimbaits, hair jigs, worms, deep-diving crankbaits, drop-shots and topwater.

Then there's Bryan Thrift, who had about 20 rods on the deck and who said he was thinking about getting out a few more. He'll probably use them all today too.

Several pros have checked more than one spot without making a cast. They're scanning the ledges and trying to decide if there are fish there, and whether or not they'll bite.

 

6:45 a.m.: They're off on the top 20 day

Only 20 anglers have survived to fish today, and they'll be challenged out on Lake Chickamauga. It was 71 degrees and humid when the boats idled away from the docks here at the Dayton Boat Dock and Grill, and the forecast is for the temperature to reach 91 degrees with only very light winds.

Boat positioning on ledges should be easy, but it'll be a marathon grind to stay focused and capitalize whenever the bass fire up and start to feed.

Local boat traffic should be a little heavier today as well, and there's still no indication that they'll pull much water during tournament hours. Those make for challenging conditions all around.

The one element that could help things is that the sun is shining through scattered clouds. Yesterday, tournament leader Michael Wooley and Larry Nixon both caught most of their fish during periods of sunshine. Maybe we'll see an early flurry to get the weekend action started.

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

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