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

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Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga Day 3

Stetson Blaylock reaches out for a frisky bass at the edge of the boat.

While Michael Wooley has tapped a single hot spot for the tournament lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers at Lake Chickamauga, his competition has had to hustle both deep and shallow just to have a shot at catching him. His lead is now more than 6 pounds ahead of second-place pro Stetson Blaylock.

The patterns working at Chickamauga right now are all over the map. Shallow grass, bream beds, middepth bars in bays, river ledges and even some long-lining are all represented in the top 10.

Here are the details for the top five.

 

Stetson Blaylock crushed the day's biggest limit, a whopping 25-12, and moved from fifth place to second.

2. Stetson Blaylock – Benton, Ark. – 66 pounds, 12 ounces

After making the top-20 cut on Friday, Stetson Blaylock was fired up about fishing Lake Chickamauga on day three with 126 fewer boats on it. He had a hunch that once the fishing pressure was reduced, some of the schools would set up again today – and he was right. Blaylock blasted a day-three best of 25 pounds, 12 ounces to put himself in second place going into the final day.

“These fish have just been beat on constantly for a week,” Blaylock says. “I figured just a little rest might help things out. I had one place I couldn’t get on for two days because there was always a boat on it. Today, it opened up, I pulled in and I caught two – including a big one – that I weighed in. That kind of got me going in a good rotation of less-pressured spots, and things clicked.”

Blaylock also noticed that the fish were a bit more responsive to bigger baits today instead of the drop-shot he used earlier in the week.

“Once I got a bite or two on the bigger stuff, I gained more confidence in that program as they day wore on,” he adds. “I’m learning what makes for good days on these TVA lakes: being in a good rotation with baits you have confidence in.”

 

Hoist 'em high Bryan. Thrift socked 25-1 on day three and is in third with 62-6.

3. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 62 pounds, 6 ounces

Lake Eufaula Walmart FLW Tour winner Bryan Thrift jumped from 19th to third on day three with a 25-pound, 1-ounce limit.

Thrift has been making a living primarily off one spot for most of the week.

“It’s a little place no one else has found,” Thrift says. “Everything I weighed yesterday came off it. Today I caught my biggest fish plus a 4-pounder off of it.”

Other than that, Thrift says he has mixed in some solid fish from the shallows.

“I caught a nice one on a topwater today,” he says. “Then I skipped a jig under a dock and caught a big one. That kind of surprised me. I’ve got one good spot, then I have to sort of junk it up after that to improve my bag.”

 

Walmart pro David Dudley brought an even 20 pounds to the scale on day three and sits in fourth place.

4. David Dudley – Lynchburg, Va. – 62 pounds, 2 ounces

One angler who has bucked the offshore convention at Chickamauga this week is David Dudley. After being a bit tightlipped about his pattern on day two, Dudley finally revealed that he is catching bass off visible bream beds in shallow water.

“I’m just fishing down the bank, looking for bream beds up shallow,” Dudley says. “If I find an active bream bed, it’s a good bet there’s a bass or two lurking around it somewhere.”

Fishing shallow on a Tennessee River system in the summertime is a stark departure from Dudley’s norm of scanning ledges along the main channel.

“I just think this lake is too small for everyone to ledge fish on it at one time,” he opines. “Kentucky Lake, and even Pickwick, for that matter, has miles and miles of possibilities for ledge fishing. But this lake is too small for that when 150 guys are out there beating on the same spots. So I decided I would do it differently this time, and I’ve enjoyed having the bank to myself.”

 

Bill McDonald weighed 14-10 on day three and fell to fifth place.

5. Billy McDonald – Greenwood, Ind. – 59 pounds, 15 ounces

Day-one leader Billy McDonald took a backslide to fifth place with a 14-pound, 10-ounce stringer on day three.

McDonald has continued to fish some of the middepth places in bays that he fished on day one when he brought in 29-12, but he’s had trouble getting the big bites again.

“I caught those big ones on a Strike King Structure Jig with a Rage Craw and a deep-running crankbait,” McDonald says. “The last two days I just haven’t had those big bites like I did on day one. So the way I figure it, I’m due for some bigger bites tomorrow.”

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

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