UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage
Dave Lefebre shows off a little Ohio River bass that will help his limit.

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2:09 p.m.: Weigh-in time

We’re off the water now. There’s not much to report form this afternoon. Even though the weather was moderately warm and calm, the bite just seems to be slow.

If anything, a slow bite will make weigh-in even more dramatic. Today the field will be cut to only the top 10 pros and co-anglers who fish Saturday. You’ll definitely want to be back here at 3:00 p.m. CT to see who makes it to the final day. 

 

12:50 p.m.: Blaukat looking for one more

Up in Smithland, Randy Blaukat is searching for the fish needed to make a run at the top 10. He started the day in 14th and just put his fourth fish in the livewell, but he says he lost a few earlier that might cost him. As he is wont to, Blaukat is fishing a little different than most – he’s finesse cranking rocks at high speed and covering a lot of water. 

 

12:10 p.m.: Barnes is making moves

The Tennessee River is running slower than it was on day one and it is a lot calmer and sunnier than yesterday as well. We’ll see if that affects the fishing going forward.

The afternoon might be helping David Barnes, as he has now boxed his second of the day, a chunky 3-pounder. Considering the lead he had, that fish all but assures Barnes will be fishing on the final day.

One other update worth mentioning is that the big paddle wheel riverboat American Queen has just shoved off and headed up the Ohio River. We’ve no idea how fast it is going to get there, but there’s the chance that it impacts the locking situation for those coming out of the Smithland Pool. 

 

11:45 a.m.: Barnes is on the board

After grabbing the lead in style on day one David Barnes Sr. has struggled mightily today. Finally, with more the half the day gone, Barnes put his first keeper in the boat – a chunky smallmouth caught off the same place Trevor Fitzgerald whacked ‘em on this morning. 

 

11:20 a.m.: Midday updates

In the Smithland Pool, keying on stumps, Dave Lefebre and Billy McDonald are sharing the back of a creek. Lefebre has a limit for about 9-pounds and is on pace to repeat day one. McDonald only has two and is on pace for the same. Also in the area is Roy Hawk, who has one keeper to his credit so far.

One of the few in the Ohio below Smithland, Andrew Upshaw is working on a solid limit about 100 yards downstream of takeoff. He’s got a mix of spots and largemouth and two of them are pretty good. He’ll likely need three more pretty good ones to fish tomorrow.

The smallmouth bite in the Tennessee seems to have slowed. For whatever reason, they ate like gangbusters for a while this morning and have really slowed down since. While David Barnes Sr. still needs a whole limit, there are others who have the makings of very solid bags and are just a few bites shy.

In the Cumberland, the water is rising so fast that you can almost see it happening. There’s a lot more color in it and instead of crankbaits on rock anglers are now flipping jigs and plastics to freshly covered wood.  

 

10:10 a.m.: Smallmouths!

The Tennessee River is on fire! Ray Hanselman just cracked a pair of big smallmouths to push his day two total to about 11 pounds. Though he only has four, he certainly has the inside track on the lead considering that David Barnes Sr. hasn’t caught anything at this point.

Hanselman isn’t the only one catching, though. Around Barnes and Holland, smallmouths are being caught so quickly that our reporter can’t keep up. Trevor Fitzgerald is culling up past 15 pounds, and there are bunches of co-anglers with good ones. Tyler Suddarth, who started the day in seventh and is rooming with Fitzgerald, also has two for 6 pounds.

So, it looks like the Tennessee is the place to be and we’re sure to see some interesting turnover in the standings today. 

 

9:40 a.m.: We’ve finally reached the Barkley Dam

Things are starting to warm up on the Cumberland. Brian Ankrum was the first to make it the dam and promptly caught himself a keeper – not much but you need to start somewhere.

Further down the Cumberland, there are a fair number of anglers, but it has been slow going for pretty much everyone.

The Tennessee is still rocking pretty good. There’s a crowd going for smallmouth with the occasional fish being caught. Most recently, Trevor Fitzgerald boxed his first – a solid one from the looks of it. 

 

9:10 a.m.: Smithland in play now

Things are getting fired up in the Smithland Pool now. Dicky Newberry got on his spot to start but so far has only boated a couple shorts.

Nearby, Dan Morehead has his first keeper of the day.

The smallmouth grounds on the Tennessee River are packed today – there are at least 11 other boats within sight of Holland and Barnes at this point. 

 

David Barnes Sr. drags for smallmouth on the Tennessee.

8:40 a.m.: Tennessee River smallmouths still playing

The story right now is Joe Holland – he’s got a pair of big smallmouths already. Holland is a prime example of how fickle the Tennessee River can be – he was in 95th on day one. There’s less current on the Tennessee today, and Holland believes it has allowed the smallmouths to move shallower on the flats.

Holland was fishing near Barnes, and invited the leader and fellow Mainer over to fish with him. Right now, both are spending a lot of time tossing a Carolina rig.

Ray Hanselman, who started the day in second, unofficially has the lead. The Texas pro has a pair of small keepers and has also noticed the reduced current.

Up in the Smithland Pool, the pros have just made it through the lock and are starting to fish. 

In the Cumberland, Josh Weaver has a pair of keepers and one is a pretty nice one. 

 

8:00 a.m.: Barnes fishing, fog hampering the field

Day one leader David Barnes Sr. has arrived at his starting spot and is currently fishless. There’s some fog where he is, but it is hardly severe.

Further up the Tennessee River is the issue – there’s heavy fog at the dam and of the 15 or so anglers that started there on day one only a couple have arrived. With smallmouth fisherman scattered like landmines on the offshore rocks of the Tennessee, navigation will likely remain tricky for a little while to come. 

 

The fog in the Tennessee River on day to of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship.

7:38 a.m.: Fog in the offing

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere – up in the Smithland Pool and in the Tennessee and Cumberland the fog is building up pretty heavy. Though it likely won’t worry the fish, the decreased visibility raises some safety concerns and will undoubtedly lengthen run times.

As far as conditions go, the rivers are still running fairly clean, but the Ohio River current is far stronger than it was on day one. Of note for those headed to Smithland, the water there has dropped more than 2-feet overnight.

Finally, Jim Dillard (39th after day one), already has a keeper and a drum to his credit. 

 

iON Camera highlights from day one

 

Tags: ohio-river    headline-story  2015-10-29-ohio-river 

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