GALLATIN, Tenn. – Temperatures around Nashville cooled off just a bit for the better part of Thursday as did the local pool of fishing talent on Old Hickory Lake.
Michael Brown of Rocky Face, Ga., brought in 12 pounds, 2 ounces to back up his day-one weight of 14-9 and take the lead in the FLW Series event with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 11 ounces.
“What I’m doing is a little strange for this time of year,” Brown said. “It’s early summer, and I’m fishing a classic fall pattern, focusing on the backs of creeks with a shallow-running crankbait. The way I’m fishing, you’d think the leaves would be changing and there would be a nip in the air, but it’s far from that.”
Far from it indeed. Anglers did get some cooler, cloudier weather this morning, but then, at about 2 p.m., the sun came back out, and it turned middle Tennessee into a broiler.
“It was a lot tougher than yesterday,” Brown said. “I only got six keeper bites today, but I still have confidence in what I’m doing because the fish are a pretty decent size when I catch one.”
Brown is trying to fish new water during the day.
“I think the fish will replenish on an object overnight, but not during the day,” he added. “Once I fish something, I won’t revisit it again until the next day.”
Herren `stealths’ to second
Herren, a self-proclaimed “river rat” who loves shallow water, is fishing water less than 2 feet deep all day. The trick to catching Old Hickory’s educated fish, he has learned, is to use a very stealthy approach.
“It takes me forever to get to the target I want to fish because I’m approaching the cover so slowly,” Herren said. “The only way I can get a bite is to sneak up on them almost like you would a fish on bed: with the trolling motor on superlow. Then I’m staying way off the cover and making superlong pitches to the target.”
Herren is fishing a Sweet Beaver and an M-Series jig on his flipping stick.
“The Beaver seemed to be better yesterday; the M-Series jig seemed to be better today,” he added. “When it got cloudy this morning, they seemed to favor that bulkier jig over the soft plastic.”
Clouse moves to third
“It got a lot tougher on me today,” Clouse said. “Yesterday I probably caught 10 keepers; today I only boated five. I’m sure the fishing pressure is starting to have an effect on the lake, but also they didn’t run as much water, and the lake came up some, which always has more of a scattering effect rather than a gathering effect on the fish.”
Clouse is fishing through a lot of water each day. He fished out offshore Wednesday, but up around the bank more today.
“I really struggled out deep today,” he added. “Once I noticed the water was coming up, I went in close and fished shallow most of the day.”
Daves moves to fourth
Daves took advantage of the clouds this morning by scoring big with a topwater lure.
“I got a limit pretty quick on topwater – by 7:30 – and that let me settle down and really go to work out deep with a Zoom Ol’ Monster,” he said. “Once I got to fishing the way I should, I found two other small schools of fish out deeper and culled up four times.”
Lashlee falls to fifth
Day-one leader Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., fell off the pace a bit today, bringing in three bass for 9 pounds and a two-day total of 25 pounds, 6 ounces.
“I probably stayed on my first day’s stuff a little too long today,” Lashlee said. “I didn’t adjust quick enough; I didn’t move out with them like I should have.”
Lashlee vows not to make that same mistake tomorrow.
“I’m going to where I caught them yesterday for just a few minutes to make sure I’m not missing anything, and then I’m going deep,” he said. “As crazy as this sounds, I think the fishing on this lake is getting a lot better somewhere out there. In order to win this tournament, I’m going to have to move out deep; I feel that’s where the mother lode is. So tomorrow, I’m not fooling around near as long with that shallower stuff. I’m going to fish my deep places and hopefully find that mother lode.”
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Series on Old Hickory:
6th: Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., with a two-day total of 25-6
7th: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., with a two-day total of 25-1
8th: Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, with a two-day total of 24-11
9th: Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tenn., with a two-day total of 24-1
10th: Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., with a two-day total of 24-0
Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., now leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 3 ounces.
Yesterday, Arey fished a small hand-poured finesse worm on 6- and 8-pound-test line behind pro Peter Cherkas to amass a limit weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Today he fished with Daves and caught four bass for 8 pounds, 9 ounces.
“Today, I caught a couple on topwater, one on a crankbait and one on the finesse worm,” Arey said. “Those are my three confidence lures here. I caught fish on them in practice and figured that, between the three of them, I should be able to adapt to just about any situation I find myself in on this lake.”
Pat Hatcliff of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is in third place with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 4 ounces.
Day-one leader Gregory Jones of Mount Juliet, Tenn., is in fourth with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 15 ounces.
Ben Broughton of Day, Fla., is in fifth with a two-day total of 16 pounds, 11 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW Series on Old Hickory:
6th: Bret Bell of Ofallon Mo., with a two-day total of 16-6
7th: Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., with a two-day total of 15-13
8th: Randy Duncan of Killen, Ala., with a two-day total of 15-13
9th: Darrell Stevens of Roseland, Va., with a two-day total of 14-14
10th: Matt Krekovich of Granite City, Ill., with a two-day total of 14-14
Day-three action resumes Friday at 6 a.m. Central at Bull Creek Marina on Old Hickory Lake.