Tennesseans head to Lake Chickamauga
ATHENS, Ala. – The Tennessee East Division 4 of the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series will hold its opening tournament of the 2014 season March 1 on Lake Chickamauga near Dayton, Tenn.
Originally scheduled for Feb. 15, the tournament will run out of Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore Drive in Dayton. Anglers may begin fishing at 7:15 a.m. or safe light. The weigh-in will begin at 3:15 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 28. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=783.
To enter, anglers fishing the Boater Division pay $200 with co-anglers paying $100.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass in any combination of largemouth, smallmouth or Kentucky spotted bass, but each angler may only bring in one smallmouth bass at least 18 inches long. Each largemouth bass must measure at least 15 inches long. Each spotted bass must measure at least 12 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass.
One of the hottest bass lakes in the nation, Lake Chickamauga ranks Number 6 on the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States. It vaulted up from 61st place in 2012. On the Tennessee River, Lake Chickamauga covers about 36,240 acres near Chattanooga and stretches about 59 miles from Watts Bar Dam to the Chickamauga Dam between Watts Bar Lake and Nickajack Lake. It offers anglers 810 miles of shorelines. The Hiwassee River feeds into the system.
Lake Chickamauga produced many double-digit bass in recent years. Many people believe the lake could produce the next Tennessee state record largemouth. In early 2013, the lake produced at least one bass exceeding 14 pounds and an incredible 44-pound bag for nearly a 9-pound average during a five-fish limit tournament.
During a May 4, 2013, tournament on Lake Chickamauga, Rogne Brown of Hixson, Tenn., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 28.01 pounds for a 5.60-pound average. He greatly upped his average and sealed his victory with a monster 10.80-pound bucketmouth that took the tournament lunker honors. Brown caught most of his fish on a 4-inch Texas-rigged Big Bite Baits Yomama on a 5/16-ounce weight or a Strike King Sexy Dog topwater bait.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Darcy C. Boynton of Pikeville, Tenn., landed a three-fish division limit going 15.29 pounds for about a 5.10-pound average. He anchored his catch with an 8.26-pounder that won the division big bass title. Boynton caught most of his fish on chatterbaits around woody or grassy structure in the mid-lake area.
For area information, call the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council at 423-775-6171, or see www.rheacountyetc.com. For Tennessee fishing license information, see www.tn.gov/twra/licensefees.html or call 1-888-814-8972.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at 256-230-5632 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.