Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1 - Major League Fishing

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

Cold weather slows the bite
Image for Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1
Miles Burghoff Photo by Richard Simms. Angler: Miles Burghoff.
February 27, 2020 • Richard Simms • Toyota Series

“Tough” was the catch word during the first morning of the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga.

The overnight cold front that moved in brought a dusting of snow on the surrounding mountaintops and freezing temperatures everywhere. The bass seemingly did not appreciate the quick change in the weather.

In four hours spent watching 15 to 20 different boats, we only saw one bass actually caught. Most anglers reported one or two fish in the livewell. The biggest bag observed was caught by Miles Burghoff, a pro from Soddy Daisy, Tenn., who reported three fish in the livewell weighing about 13 pounds around 9 a.m.

“Hopefully I’ll add at least two more to it when we see you at the weigh-in,” he said.

At 10 a.m., pro angler Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., estimated about 8 pounds in his livewell.

Brandon Perkins, the pro from Counce, Tenn., had a couple of fish in the boat. However, he was singing the blues about an early bass that broke him off because of ice buildup in his guides.

“The line didn’t break at the fish,” he said. “It broke way up in the guides.”

He wasn’t the only angler bemoaning the cold. Pro angler Craig Saylor from Oak Hill, Ohio, complained about a frozen switch on his trolling motor.

Everyone was holding out hope that sunshine and rising temperatures would inspire an afternoon bite. And by all accounts everyone is still holding out expectations, or at least hope, that someone in the 302-angler field will bring a 30-pound-plus bag to the scale this afternoon.

Most anglers, at least on the south end of Lake Chickamauga, were fishing away from the main channel where recent heavy rains have created excessive current flows. The majority of anglers appear to be throwing lipless crankbaits in pockets and sloughs in relatively shallow water. Burghoff was catching his fish along the edge of a submerged grass bed that survived the winter cold and high water. We did see a few A-rigs flying through the air from a few boats.

The early predictions from most were that anglers should not be expecting lots of bites. It was going to boil down to who could best take advantage of five quality bites. So far that seems to be proving true. Tune in at 3 p.m. ET to see who it will be.

Tournament details