UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1
Dakota Ebare

On a lake like Chickamauga, there are usually a lot of ways to catch fish. The top five after day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine proved that.

While hammering rocky secondary points with umbrella rigs was popular on Thursday, so was cranking those areas. And cranking grass. And throwing swimbaits and other reaction baits behind sand bars in the main river, just out of the ripping current.

In the top five especially, there was an abundance of patterns and baits in play. Leader Rusty White found his big fish in one special spot fishing an undisclosed pattern, and the rest of the top five pros found unique ways to catch them.

White’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

CODY NICHOLS

2. Cody Nichols – Fayette, Ala. – 25-5 (5)

Cody Nichols utilized the current on Chickamauga to target and catch his fish. In practice, he made three casts to one specific bar that served as a current break in the main-lake area. On those three casts, he caught a 7-, a 5- and a 3-pounder.

“I pretty much had one good spot,” he explains. “I didn’t catch all of them off one spot. All of them but one – the biggest one.”

Once Nichols had a solid limit of about 18 pounds, he opted to run around and hit some other sand bars. His best spot was in about 2 feet of water, which he targeted with an XCalibur lipless crankbait in Rayburn red color.

While Nichols says he’s fished Chick about 20 times, he’s a Tennessee River angler who’s extremely familiar with Pickwick, and he thinks Chick is fishing eerily similarly this week.

 

STEVE STANFILL

3. Steve Stanfill – Dawsonville, Ga. – 25-1 (5)

Chick has a lot of grass, but with water levels down this week, that grass is in uncomfortably shallow water that’s hard to fish. Today, the water rose at least a foot, and Steve Stanfill used it to his advantage.

Targeting a grassy area about a mile long, the Dawsonville, Ga., pro threw a variety of lipless crankbaits and square-bills to flush out fish from that shallow grass.

“I’ve got one area that’s about a mile long that’s got a lot of fish in it,” he says. “Grass and a lot of fish.”

The hydrilla Stanfill was fishing could be even jucier on day two if the water continues to rise. But, as is the case with the rest of the field behind him, big fish are plentiful just about everywhere.

“This is my third time on this lake,” he adds. “I came here Friday with my wife, put in and ran up the river, dropped the trolling motor and in 10 minutes I had a 9-13.”

Stanfill had one close to that on day one, and he’s hoping his grassy stretch has more of those tucked away waiting for him.

 

DEREK HICKS

4. Derek Hicks – Rocky Face, Ga. – 24-9 (5)

Like Nichols, Derek Hicks caught his fish targeting current breaks behind sand bars. He was looking for hard spots that were sheltered from the current where fish are moving up to spawn.

“A couple of them are one-cast places,” he says, referring to the spots at which he can make one specific cast to the same location and catch multiple fish.

Hicks’ spots might be very weather- and water level-dependent, though. If the water comes up on Friday, the current might slow down, meaning those same areas that produced on day one could go bad fast.

“[If the water comes up] That’s going to change a lot,” he says. “It’s going to fish real funky. They don’t bite real good when the water’s rising here. If we still have current, it’s fine, but they’re not going to bite good if it’s coming up. I’d like to see it fall.”

Hicks is casting and winding for all his fish and says he’s using a variety of baits.

 

BRANDON STANLEY

5. Brandon Stanley – Johnson City, Tenn. – 23-14 (5)

Brandon Stanley fished a couple different patterns today, which could play to his advantage on day two with weather conditions changing by the minute.

One of his patterns was targeting steep rock transitions.

“Ten to 15 feet seems to be what I’m keying on,” says Stanley. “If I get any shallower than five feet, it seems like my bites fall off big time.”

Stanley also targeted eddies in the main river – pretty much anywhere just out of the full current.

“The current itself is too fast,” he adds. “You have to have something to break it up.”

What really did the trick for Stanley on day one was a combination of the right current and the right depth with wood and brush underneath it. That’s what he’ll be looking for again on day two.

“If you can find the right kind of brush piles that have deep enough water and the right amount of current on it, that’s it. Wham-O.”

Tags: justin-onslow  headline-story  2019-03-21-lake-chickamauga 

AOY Update: Lake Martin

AOY Update: Lake Martin

Through three events of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, second-year pro and 2019 Polaris Rookie of the Year Ron Nelson remains atop the Angler of the Year standings after a second-place finish at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »