Cherokee, Douglas Lakes Should be Approaching Prime Time for Stage Two of the 2023 Bass Pro Tour - Major League Fishing

Cherokee, Douglas Lakes Should be Approaching Prime Time for Stage Two of the 2023 Bass Pro Tour

Image for Cherokee, Douglas Lakes Should be Approaching Prime Time for Stage Two of the 2023 Bass Pro Tour
September 27, 2022 • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. – The second event of the 2023 Bass Pro Tour season will be held in East Tennessee on two different bodies of water: Cherokee and Douglas lakes (March 18-23). The Qualifying Round will be on Cherokee, Douglas will host the Knockout Round, and the Championship Round anglers will return to Cherokee to decide the winner.

One of several Tennesseans in the field, Ott DeFoe, is an early favorite to win this event due to past successes in these fisheries. He fishes both often and says they are similar, but unique in their own ways.

“For two lakes to be so close, look alike, and have similar topography, they fish vastly different,” DeFoe said. “Cherokee has more largemouth than ever, but it’s mainly a smallmouth fishery. Douglas has some smallmouth in it, but largemouth are dominant.”

Another difference is the current cycle of the two lakes, with Cherokee fishing exceptionally well and Douglas being more challenging than it has traditionally been. 

“The numbers are very good on Douglas, but the size is down compared to how it was in years past,” he said. “Cherokee has been great the past several years and is full of solid 3-pounders.”

The late March setting of this date is about perfect, according to DeFoe. 

“It’s about a week earlier than what I would say is the best time of the year to fish in Tennessee, but the fishing should be excellent,” he said. “The fish will be in a prespawn pattern, and we’ll see guys catch them with jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, and vibrating jigs. There should still be a good deep bite, and the ‘Damiki Rig’ will also catch some fish.”