Meunier Takes Over on Day 2 at Chickamauga - Major League Fishing
Meunier Takes Over on Day 2 at Chickamauga
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Meunier Takes Over on Day 2 at Chickamauga

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May 6, 2022 • Richard Simms • Toyota Series

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Kevin Meunier wowed the crowd with the biggest bag of the tournament on Day 2 of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Central Division event on Lake Chickamauga. Meunier weighed in five bass weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces, boosting his total to 36-14. That puts him 3 pounds, 3 ounces ahead of second-place Tommy Brown going into the final day of fishing on Saturday. Only the Top 25 anglers will hit the water Saturday, and Casey Martin snuck into the last spot in 25th place, with a two-day weight of 27-14.

It is a tightly-packed field. The Top 10 anglers are all just one 6-pounder away from overtaking Meunier. And all of the Top 5 finishers from Day 1 fell down in the pack, some a long way down. The fishing success is volatile right now and virtually anyone in the Top 25 has a chance to take over Meunier’s top spot Saturday.

With cloudy, rainy conditions the morning of Day 2, most anglers felt like sight fishing spawning bass would be out of the question. Meunier proved them wrong.

He had marked one big spawning fish the day before that he specifically thought he could catch, and did. He admits, however, they were almost impossible to see.

“It was tough today, very tough,” he said. “I was just getting up shallow and running the banks until you see them dart off. Then I’d turn around and see if I could find them. They’d move back in, then I’d let them settle back down and go at ‘em.”

His big fish weighed in at 7-11. That was the one he had specifically gone after, but said, “The other big ones I just kind of stumbled onto.”

Meunier actually waited until later in the morning, after the light improved, before he went in search of the shallow fish.

“I didn’t start sight fishing until 9:30 or 10 o’clock. I did catch one this morning deep,” he said.

Meunier said he was fishing a ½-ounce Freedom Tackle jig tipped with a Gambler Flappy Daddy.

Horrible wind and storms blowing in behind today’s passing cold front turned Chickamauga into a boiling cauldron. Anglers in the later flights on Day 2 had to battle their way home. Some even returned early to try to beat the worst of it.

Those conditions are part of the reason Meunier really doesn’t have a specific game plan for Saturday.

“I’m just going fishing tomorrow,” he said. “I know there’s a couple more (spawning fish) there. I don’t know if they’ll lock down or if this will blow it out. I’m just going fishing.”

Top 10 Pros

1. Kevin Meunier – 36 – 14 (10)        

2. Tommy Brown – 33 – 11 (10)       

3. Trevor Prince – 33 – 00 (10)          

4. Michael Black – 32 – 13 (10)         

5. Kevin Drake – 32 – 07 (10)

6. Cody Nichols – 32 – 06 (10)          

7. Jonathan Dietz – 31 – 09 (10)        

8. Andrew Johnson – 30 – 15 (9)       

9. Derik Hudson – 30 – 14 (10)         

10. Daniel Johnson – 30 – 09 (10)     

Complete Results

Bouldin Claims Top Co-Angler Spot on Day 2 at Chickamauga

Jeremy Bouldin understands that co-anglers go wherever their pros take them, but said fortunately today that meant he was fishing shallow. The end result was a 15-15 bag on Day 2, for a two-day total of 25-9 and the lead.

One the last anglers of the day to weigh in, Bouldin squeezed past second-place Pop Catalin by 15 ounces.

Bouldin was casting a green pumpkin worm, what he calls, “a co-angler’s best friend.”

“I’ve had two good pros and they don’t leave much behind,” he said. “But when they do I try to capitalize.”

Bouldin has fished Chickamauga one time before, two years ago in a tournament held before water levels were at full pool in this flood-control reservoir.

“The water was five feet down from where it is now,” he said. “There’s a lot more to throw at now. I thought I’d like being here with the water up. And I definitely like it a lot better.”

Top 10 Co-Anglers

1. Jeremy Bouldin – 25 – 09 (9)

2. Pop Catalin – 24 – 10 (9)         

3. Cater Wijangco – 22 – 06 (10) 

4. Mitch Friedman – 21 – 10 (8)  

5. Anthony Mondo – 21 – 02 (8) 

6. Tommy Pritchard – 20 – 15 (7)

7. Charlie Crouch – 20 – 14 (8)    

8. Tony Pickering – 20 – 08 (8)    

9. Anthony Bell Jr. – 19 – 04 (9)  

10. Andy Vance – 19 – 01 (10)

Complete Results