Day 1 OTW Gallery – click here
1:05 p.m. – Chappelear, Knight
Just like that, Chappelear smacked an 8-pounder and now has a limit pushing 19 pounds. It looks like he's is one of the anglers fishing offshore. Brad Knight was having a super slow day until hitting a flurry and adding four keepers. The Tennessee pro now has a limit for 13 pounds. Both Chappelear and Knight are perfect examples of how fast things can change on a fishery like Lake Chickamauga.
At that we're going to wrap up the blog for the day. Tune in at 3 p.m. ET on flwfishing.com to watch today’s live weigh-in from the Dayton Boat Dock. Undoubtedly, there will be some major shakeups on the leaderboard between now and then.
12:50 p.m. – Top 10 Update
|DAY 1 – 2
|1||RANDY ALLEN||25 – 8 (5)||25 – 8 (5)|
|2||TIM FREDERICK||21 – 0 (5)||21 – 0 (5)||4 – 8|
|3||HENSLEY POWELL||19 – 4 (5)||19 – 4 (5)||6 – 4|
|4||RON NELSON||18 – 0 (5)||18 – 0 (5)||7 – 8|
|5||JASON REYES||17 – 8 (5)||17 – 8 (5)||8 – 0|
|6||DAVID GASTON||17 – 0 (5)||17 – 0 (5)||8 – 8|
|7||MATT GREENBLATT||17 – 0 (5)||17 – 0 (5)||8 – 8|
|8||DAVID G WILLIAMS||17 – 0 (5)||17 – 0 (5)||8 – 8|
|9||GREG BOHANNAN||16 – 8 (5)||16 – 8 (5)||9 – 0|
|10||CODY HAHNER||16 – 4 (5)||16 – 4 (5)||9 – 4|
Clearly, Randy Allen's 25-plus-pound bag is looking super good, largely due to his 10-pounder. Ron Nelson and Cody Hahner each edged his way into the top 10 after a few clutch fish catches. Most pros in the top 10 are still within striking distance of Allen considering a Chickamauga giant could eat on any cast.
Weights are super stacked further down the leaderboard. We will see a ton of limits in the 11- to 13-pound range today at weigh-in. A lot of the guys with small limits could sure go for a kicker right about now to separate them a little. AOY leader Miles Burghoff is making a bunch of culls, but just for ounces each time. Scott Martin, who sits in second in the AOY standings, has been pretty quiet still.
11:45 a.m. – Cox has 20
We came back to John Cox to learn that he has around 20 pounds on the day. According to John, he doesn’t have any “big ones” in the livewell. However, John did mention that he knows of a 12-pounder that’s getting closer and closer to being on bed. Tomorrow he might go and try to catch it.
Elsewhere, John Voyles caught a 7 1/2-pounder to bump his bag up to 16 or so pounds. David Williams caught a 3 3/4 to cull up to around 17 pounds. Joseph Webster nailed his first solid fish of the day – a 5-pounder. It’s a good sign that the bigger fish are starting to bite more consistently.
Brad Knight is burning a lot of gas at the moment. He’s run past one of our camera guys numerous times in the last half-hour. Having only one fish in the boat must have him on edge a little.
11:15 a.m. – AOY update
Miles Burghoff got his fifth keeper in the boat. Right now, he has a total of 9 pounds in the box. Luckily for Burghoff, who leads the AOY race, Scott Martin isn’t necessarily lighting it up today as the current AOY runner-up only has two average keepers in the boat. Burghoff and Martin will certainly upgrade before the day is over, but there is definitely some room for others to gain a few AOY places at the moment.
David Gaston has three fish for a total of 8 pounds in the livewell. Those fish are nothing compared to a pair of 10-pounders he said he caught during practice on Sunday. Gaston said, “They kinda did me wrong, so I didn’t set the hook on anything the next two days.”
As far as big fish go, Tim Frederick caught a 6 1/2 to cull up 4 pounds and is now in second place. Joel Willert has a limit that's anchored by a recently caught 7-pounder.
10:35 a.m. – Reyes gets a big, culling
Jason Reyes got an 8-pounder not so long ago. He needs one more fish to get a limit. Once he does that he should be in second place, unofficially. Nick LeBrun got his fourth fish in the livewell – a 5-pounder. David Williams, Tim Frederick, Ryan Salzman, Greg Bohannan, Larry Nixon and a bunch of other pros have all made recent culls. Again, any fish over 3 pounds will be super crucial as the smaller fish are still snapping everywhere.
The unofficial leader Randy Allen is still super wired from catching the 10-pounder earlier. One of our on-the-water reporters says that he looks like he can barely cast. Apparently catching a fish of a lifetime during an FLW Tour event will get a person all tore up.
9:55 a.m. – Allen Limits
Randy Allen just put fish No. 5 in the boat and now has a limit for around 25 pounds. That fish also grew his lead to nearly 10 pounds. Opposite of most of the pros, Allen seems to be getting his fish away from the bank.
We’re still seeing a ton of different baits and patterns and they’re all catching fish. If you’ve checked out the FLW Live Leaderboard, you may notice that most fish are in the 2- to 3-pound range. That class of fish seems eager to bite everywhere and should provide a ton of small limits. If the pros can mix in even one big kicker with those smaller fish, they should be in good shape.
9:05 a.m. – Giant
Randy Allen just caught a Chickamauga giant. Allen's marshal was pretty stoked on the fish catch. He reported, “Randy Allen, fourth bass. 10 plus!!! I’m shaking.” That fish has Allen up to the 22-pound range, which has him way out in the lead with just four in the box.
Ryan Salzman is still catching fish like crazy. His marshal reported that Salzman has boated 24 fish already on a swimbait. Miles Burghoff has his first two bass in the boat. They’re both small, but keepers are keepers.
8:55 a.m. – Better fish, Newberry
We’re starting to get more reports of better fish being caught. Bailey Boutries and Brant Grimm each tagged 4-pounders. It looks like Boutries’ fish came near the bank. Minnesota pro Austin Felix caught his first fish of the morning – a 5-pounder. It’s encouraging to see these better fish show up. It shouldn’t be long until we see the true giants fall.
Dicky Newberry has a limit worth 15 pounds, which puts him atop the leaderboard. We’re not sure how he’s fishing, but we should get a better report on what the Texas pro is doing soon.
Overall, it looks like the majority of anglers are fishing shallow near the bank. It’s not too much of a surprise considering there are fish still on beds. If the shallow fish keep getting hit hard we should see more guys head offshore as the tournament progresses.
8:30 a.m. – Gross in the lead, limits reported
Buddy Gross is the unofficial leader with a 12-pound limit. He is literally fishing side-by-side with Bryan Thrift – talk about a hammer sandwich … Thrift only has a 2-pounder in the boat, but clearly there are good fish in the area.
AOY leader Miles Burghoff caught his first fish of the day – a crappie. Not necessarily the first fish you want to catch on Chickamauga, but he still has all day to get on the right species. Scott Martin, who is second in AOY, just broke the ice by catching a 2 3/4-pounder.
John Cox is sight-fishing the area where he found a bunch of nice fish during practice. However, the only fish he has connected with was a 3 3/4-pounder. He thinks the great big ones have pulled out of the area.
Ryan Salzman and Cory Neece had the first two limits of the morning. Salzman’s fish are all 2-pounders that he caught on an unspecified swimbait.
7:45 a.m. – Quality fish rolling in
While Hensley Powell has three nice fish in the box, it's too early to declare anyone an unofficial leader. What is clear is that the average weight of bass here on Chickamauga is going to average a bit higher than at our last fishery Cherokee Lake. We're seeing a good number of 2 3/4- to 3-pound bass already, with several pros locked on 4-plus-pound bass on beds.
Also, at least a few pros locked up to Watts Bar. It'll be interesting to see if the next lake above Chickamauga can produce weights that will hang with the big-bass factory.
6:30 a.m. – Be prepared for a mammoth day one on Chickamauga
They anglers are off from Dayton Boat Dock and ready to get after the giants that Lake Chickamauga is known for. What's happening on the lake right now? Everything.
John Cox told one a member of FLW's media crew that he has a 7- to 8-pounder located on a bed right outside of takeoff, and there's an even bigger one there with it. But there are also bass setting up on the lake's river ledges, plus everywhere in between, from the banks to the first structure out off the banks.
This could truly be one of those tournaments when a pro can fish to his strengths and still have a shot at a 20-plus-pound bag.
The only challenging part will be staying on transitioning fish for four days to hang on for the win. Will it be a shallow-pounder like Cox, and offshore ace or someone who's figured out a mix of all of the above? Follow the live leaderboard throughout the day to see who sets the pace early.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Forecast high: 84 degrees
Sky: partly cloudy
Precipitation: chance of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon
Wind: SSw at 7 mph
Presented by Evinrude
Hosted by Fish Dayton/Rhea Economic & Tourism Council
Takeoff: 7 a.m. ET at Dayton Boat Dock, 175 Lakeshore Street, Dayton, TN
Weigh-in: 3 p.m. ET at Dayton Boat Dock days one and two; 4 p.m. ET at Dayton Boat Dock days three and four
FLW Expo: 2-6 p.m. ET at Dayton Boat Dock
FLW Live: 3 p.m. ET through the end of weigh-in