May 6, 2019 ¬†by Justin Onslow and Jody White
Most people probably don‚Äôt equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick.
Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.¬†
Here‚Äôs a look at what the top 10 pros used to catch their fish at Chickamauga.
1. When John Cox was trying to tempt bedding bass to bite, he did it with a wacky-rigged 6-inch¬†Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General¬†in the baby bass color. He also caught some key fish on a white¬†Dirty Jigs Swim Jig¬†with a white¬†Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk¬†trailer.¬†
2. Buddy Gross relied on a handful of moving baits to land his best fish at Chickamauga. He employed¬†Scottsboro Tackle 5-inch and 6-inch swimbaits¬†as well as a¬†Zoom Swimmer¬†and a¬†Lucky Craft SKT MR¬†crankbait. He rigged the 5-inch Scottsboro on an¬†Owner Flashy Swimmer¬†(1/2 ounce) and the 6-inch on a¬†Scottsboro 1-ounce head. He changed out the hooks on his crankbait to Owner treble hooks.
3. Ron Nelson relied heavily on a¬†Yamamoto Senko¬†to do his damage. He rigged it both wacky-style and Texas-rigged (with a 1/32-ounce weight in the wind) and used black and blue, black, and green pumpkin colors. He also used a¬†Jewel Bait football jig¬†with a¬†Strike King Rage Tail Craw¬†trailer and a 3/4-ounce XCalibur rattle bait (silver and black).
4. Matt Greenblatt only used two baits on his one spot all week: a 5-inch¬†Yamamoto Senko¬†and a 5-inch¬†Zoom Speed Worm, both in watermelon red with the tails dipped in¬†Spike-It worm dye. He rigged the Senko weightless and wacky-style on a¬†VMC No. 2 hook¬†with a weedguard. The Speed Worm was Texas-rigged with a 1/8-ounce weight.¬†
5. David Dudley relied on two baits the first three days of the tournament: a wacky-rigged green pumpkin stick bait and a Texas-rigged¬†Zoom Brush Hog¬†(also green pumpkin) with a 1/4-ounce weight. On day four, he caught his entire bag on an¬†OSP Blitz¬†square-bill crankbait.¬†
6. Ramie Colson Jr. flipped all four days with a Texas-rigged¬†Zoom Z-Crawin the California 420 color. He used a pegged 1/4-ounce weight on that setup on 20-pound-test¬†Sunline Super FC Sniperfluorocarbon. Colson culled out his entire bag on day three with a¬†1/2-ounce Accentgizzard shad and chartreuse double-willow-blade spinnerbait with a¬†Zoom Split Tail Trailer(pearl white).¬†
7. Alex Davis relied on a homemade 3/4-ounce hair jig for some of his fish and some Scottsboro Tackle swimbaits and jigheads for the rest. He used a¬†5-inch line-through¬†(internally weighted), another Scottsboro swimbait on a 1-ounce head and yet another on a 1-ounce¬†Scottsboro scrounger¬†head.¬†
8. Jared McMillan caught 17 of the 20 fish he weighed in on a¬†Strike King Rage Tail Craw¬†(black and blue), Texas-rigged with a pegged 1/4-ounce weight. He had that rigged on a 7-foot, 2-inch, medium-heavy¬†Lew‚Äôs Custom Speed Stick¬†and a¬†Lew‚Äôs Pro-Ti¬†7.5:1 reel spooled with 20-pound-test¬†Gamma Edge¬†fluorocarbon. He caught the other three he weighed in on a 4-inch wacky-rigged¬†Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Ocho¬†stick bait (green pumpkin), which produced two key fish on day four.¬†
9. David Williams tied on a white 7/16-ounce TrueSouth Custom Lures jig with a¬†Zoom Z-Craw¬†trailer for his early morning shad spawn bite. He then switched to a 1/2-ounce Queen Tackle jig with a green pumpkin Z-Craw trailer. Williams also mixed in a TrueSouth V-Twin buzzbait and a¬†Duo Realis 120¬†jerkbait as a follow-up bait.¬†