Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage - Major League Fishing
Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage
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Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

The final day is underway in east Tennessee
Image for Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage
Andrew Upshaw Photo by Kyle Wood.
April 14, 2019 • FLW Communications • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit


FLW Live Leaderboard – CLICK HERE

Lake Tour

Tournament Details

Cherokee Lake Preview

FLW Live Schedule

Day three leader story – CLICK HERE

Day 4 OTW Gallery – CLICK HERE


2:00 p.m. – Crunch time

The wind is picking up big time out on Cherokee. Most of the top 10 are in search of the late-day kicker. Dylan Hays is about to head to his juice. He said, “All the bigguns came of the same stretch and we’re about to go back to it.” Grae Buck is in full largemouth mode and has a lot of laydowns to flip between now and weigh-in. Upshaw is staying true to the smallies as only one cull away from leading.

We couldn’t have asked for a much closer tournament than what Cherokee Lake has given us. Three days of steady fish catching has all narrowed down to a three-horse race between Buck, Upshaw and Hays. The blog and FLW Live Leaderboard are closing down for the day, but don’t leave your computer, phone or tablet, because we will be back for weigh-in shortly at 4 p.m. ET!


1:30 p.m. – Battery issue

Grae Buck’s cranking battery might be going out on him as he just had to jump start his big motor. Not that the battery has much to do with fishing, but it’s another thing for him to worry about before getting back to weigh-in. He did make a move to some laydowns in search of a $100,000 kicker.


1:05 p.m. – It's tight at the top

Andrew Upshaw has been fishing thorough all day, and is continuing to do so. Based off of yesterday’s weights, Andrew knows he needs more weight than what he currently has to get the win. Grae Buck has been catching keepers, but none that help his limit. Considering Grae has a strong limit, it’s hard seeing Grae upgrade much more. Dylan Hays managed to catch a 3 1/4-pounder not long ago and now sits in second place. Also, Dylan’s fish are true estimates since he isn’t weighing his fish on a scale.







DAY 1 – 4




16 – 6 (5)

17 – 10 (5)

15 – 4 (5)

17 – 4 (5)

66 – 8 (20)




17 – 13 (5)

16 – 11 (5)

15 – 9 (5)

15 – 12 (5)

65 – 13 (20)

0 – 11



18 – 6 (5)

17 – 14 (5)

16 – 0 (5)

13 – 8 (5)

65 – 12 (20)

0 – 12



17 – 2 (5)

14 – 8 (5)

16 – 9 (5)

16 – 0 (5)

64 – 3 (20)

2 – 5



15 – 8 (5)

15 – 10 (5)

16 – 3 (5)

16 – 4 (5)

63 – 9 (20)

2 – 15



17 – 0 (5)

16 – 4 (5)

17 – 6 (5)

12 – 4 (5)

62 – 14 (20)

3 – 10



16 – 8 (5)

16 – 6 (5)

15 – 4 (5)

14 – 0 (5)

62 – 2 (20)

4 – 6



17 – 2 (5)

15 – 1 (5)

16 – 13 (5)

11 – 8 (5)

60 – 8 (20)

6 – 0



17 – 4 (5)

16 – 5 (5)

14 – 10 (5)

11 – 0 (5)

59 – 3 (20)

7 – 5



16 – 4 (5)

14 – 14 (5)

17 – 11 (5)

10 – 0 (5)

58 – 13 (20)

7 – 11


The final hour of FLW Live is upon us and things are really getting tense. The pros have no idea what eachother have, which has to be grueling on them, especially when weights are this tight. They have one more hour to make their moves on FLW Live and the FLW Live Leaderboard before we shut things down.

12:35 p.m. – Hays misses

Dylan Hays just lost a good one on the jig. We’re not sure how big it was, but it sure had his rod bent. Hays said, “I don’t really know what happened. I thought I hit him pretty good."

Tom Monsoor has caught over 20 fish on the day, but the big ones have evaded him. Despite having a hard time finding good ones, Tom is keeping a positive attitude out there and enjoying his day.


Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw

12:10 p.m. – Small cull for Upshaw

The wind has laid off for the time being and it seems to have fired up the smallmouths. Andrew Upshaw culled up and now trails Buck by less than a pound. Reyes’ marshal reported that the Texas pro caught a 5-pound smallmouth, which puts him the top 5. This window of low wind won't last forever, so the smallmouth chasers need to do work ASAP.

It’s tough to pick a clear cut favorite to win the event at this point. Buck has the lead, but Upshaw has a bunch room to cull and Hays is one big bite away from taking the lead. We can't forget about Monsoor either, who only has 12-4 in the box. All that’s certain is that it’s going to be close and likely come down to ounces.


Dylan Hays

Dylan Hays

Dylan Hays

11:45 a.m. – Hays upgrades

Dylan Hays just stuck a 3 1/4-pounder on a spinnerbait. He was throwing the blade alongside a rocky bank up in the river when the fish hit.

Dylan also changed up trailers on his jig. “Put an ol’ Big Salty on there,” Hays said. “Bill Taylor would be proud.”


11:30 a.m. – Upshaw, Young

Andrew Upshaw’s is still having a hard time upgrading his limit. He’s actually caught a few fish recently, but they just weren’t big enough to cull. The smallest fish in his livewell is a 1 3/4-pounder. His afternoon bite has been legit all week, and it need to hold out for one more day for Andrew to get the win.

Andy Young is in scramble mode at the moment. The Minnesota pro is running all around looking to improve on his 10-pound, 8-ounce limit.


Dylan Hays

Derrick Snavely

Derrick Snavely

Derrick Snavely

11:05 a.m. – Snavely, Hays, Buck

Derrick Snavely had back-to-back fish and now has a limit worth nearly 12 pounds. He was fishing behind a boat dock when he caught one of the fish. Up in the river Dylan Hays caught a few short fish not long ago. Grae Buck is making a move out to a main-lake island just north of Panther Creek. This might be the spot that Grae’s thinks prespawners are coming up on.

We’re getting reports from our on-the-water team that the rain seems to be tapering off, but the wind is picking up. The conditions seem to be changing on an hourly basis at Cherokee Lake.


10:30 a.m. – A few fish

Grae Buck is still catching fish, but he is having a hard time finding fish that will upgrade his weight. Dylan Hays put the jig down and is slinging a swimbait around. He seems to be fishing freer than he was yesterday. Tim Frederick found his fourth fish – a 2 1/4 pound smallie. Frederick is still fishing around the islands in the middle of the lake alongside Andrew Upshaw.

10:15 a.m. – Weather report

A steady rainfall is coming down all across Cherokee Lake. The wind hasn’t been as an issue yet, but will be picking up here soon and by weigh-in time it should be blowing almost 20 mph. There had been a few small fish catches, but nothing too exciting since the last update. Perhaps the marshals and our on-the-water crew are keeping their electronics dry until they see something worth reporting on.


Dylan Hays

Dylan Hays

Dylan Hays

9:55 a.m. – Hays limits

Dylan Hays has boated four straight keepers to fill out his limit. They all came on the same jig he’s been throwing all week. Dylan has also been experimenting with a big swimbait that he had two big fish follow up yesterday. He has to be happy with what he's mustered up so far.

Tom Monsoor thinks the fish in his primary spots have been too pressured and are getting educated. Now, the Wisconsin pro is exploring the lower end of the lake looking for fresh fish. Referring to the areas he’s looking for, Tom said, “The worst looking spots are the best because no one has fished them yet.”

Upshaw and Buck have been pretty quiet in the last half hour. It seems like the smallmouth have hit a little lull since the rain started.


9:25 a.m. – Upshaw culls

Andrew Upshaw put about a 3-pounder in the boat and is now up to 13 pounds, 4 ounces, unofficially. Upshaw needs to keep working to get to the 16 or 17 pound mark. He has three fish in the livewell that he needs to cull before the end of the day.

Buck has culled up again and now has 17-4 in the box. His smallest fish in the livewell is about 3 1/4-pounds. He feels that he has almost maxed out on the bedding smallies and may go chase some fresh prespawners later.


Tom Monsoor

9:00 a.m. – Buck has 16+, Monsoor

Grae Buck culled again after catching a 3 3/4-pounder. Grae actually missed the fish earlier in the day, but she came back to the same bed. Grae is fired up.

We got a better look at Tom Monsoor’s swim-jig. It has a white and chartreuse skirt with a white Yamamoto Swim Senko. He said the spawn might be done on the lower end of the lake where he is fishing.

It’s starting to sprinkle on Cherokee Lake. The storm will be rolling in here shortly and stay for most of the day. The wind is also picking up and will make it harder on the guys who are targeting specific cracks in boulders.


Grae Buck

8:40 a.m. – Buck culling

Grae Buck’s hot start has continued. The Pennsylvania pro made a few clutch culls and has a 15 pound bag, which lands him atop the FLW Live Leaderboard. Now he is rerunning a few waypoints that he knows has fish on them.


Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw

Tom Monsoor

Tom Monsoor

8:25 a.m. – Upshaw, Monsoor, Hays

Andrew Upshaw has four fish in the boat, including a 3 3/4-pounder. He is definitely in the right mindset to win the tournament. He seems super dialed in and knows exactly what he has to do to lock things up. He mentioned that having his family at takeoff really helped ground him mentally.

Tom Monsoor has his limit in the boat and is now looking to upgrade. Again, Tom is using one of his custom swim-jigs. His bigger bites didn’t come until late in the day yesterday, so it might take Tom awhile to get the better upgrades.

Dylan Hays made his long run up to the river and just caught his first fish – a 4-pounder. Yesterday, Hays confirmed that he is going all in on largemouth and forgetting about the smallmouths. He has been getting two to three big bites a day up the river. Having one in the boat has to be a confidence builder for Dylan.


Grae Buck

Grae Buck

Grae Buck

7:40 – Buck off to strong start

Grae Buck has unofficially taken over the lead after catching three keepers in the first 30 minutes here on the final day. Catching early will be key since the storms are headed this way. Tom Monsoor also has three keepers and trails Buck by a little over a pound. Andrew Upshaw, with one in the boat, has slid a couple spots. 

As expected, it seems the smallmouths are biting on a foul final day. 


Andrew Upshaw

Grae Buck

7 a.m. – Upshaw leads the way on stormy day four

Mother Nature isn't going to make life easy for Andrew Upshaw. The Oklahoma pro has led for three days at the FLW Tour even presented by Lowrance at Cherokee Lake. But if he wants to complete the wire-to-wire bid for the win, Upshaw is going to have to catch them on a windy, rainy, possibly stormy final day as a series of thunderstorms makes its way across east Tennessee. Luckily, Cherokee is small enough that waves shouldn't build to dangerous levels, but with forecasts calling for south winds at 15 to 25 and gusts to 45, the north-south situated lake will certainly get bumpy, and the gales will certainly make it tough to finesse fish. Then again, smallmouths are notorious for biting in the worst weather. Upshaw, who's targeting smallmouths, could actually benefit from the conditions.

We'll see. There's a squad of smallmouth experts behind him in the standings, topped by Tom Monsoor, the veteran pro from Wisconsin. He's just a couple pounds back, and is probably one of the hardier pros on Tour, meaning he'll likely figure out how to get things done on a wicked final day.

Follow along as we see if Upshaw can close it out, or whether one of his colleagues in pursuit can catch him. 



Temperature at takeoff: 67 degrees

Forecast high: 78 degrees

Sky: cloudy

Precipitation: 80 percent chance of rain, with thunderstorms possible

Wind: S at 15 to 25, with gusts to 45



Presented by Lowrance

Hosted by the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance

Takeoff: 7 a.m. ET at TVA Dam Boat Launch, Renfro Rd., Jefferson City, TN

Weigh-in: 4 p.m. ET at TVA Dam Boat Launch

FLW Expo: 2 p.m. ET through the end of weigh-in at TVA Dam Boat launch

FLW Live: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET live on-the-water coverage with commentary from Travis Moran and Todd Hollowell; 4 p.m. ET through the end of weigh-in