5th Place Finish FLW BFL Percy Priest Lake,TN
Just got back from competing in the FLW BFL Music City Division Tournament on Percy Priest Lake which is located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The water on Percy Priest Lake was a lot higher than it typically is this time of the year. The lake was coming down and they were pulling a lot of water. Water conditions were stained to muddy and water temperature was 57 to 58 degrees where we were fishing. We started the day off by fishing a number of gravel flats in the Mid-Lake area. These kinds of areas are where one typically would expect to catch smallmouth. We started off fishing down this gravel bank and I was able to catch two fish on a crankbait. One of them was a 17 and a half inch smallmouth which I had to throw back because on Percy Priest Lake you are only allowed to keep smallmouth that are over the 18 inch mark. Frustrating to say the least but I kept my confidence high and it wasn't long that I put keeper number one in the boat on a bone colored jerkbait. The first keeper of the day came off a lone dock on this bank. The wind was crashing into the dock and my boater threw a jig and a crankbait down the side of the dock to no avail. The jerkbait was the ticket and it was great to get a keeper in the boat early in the day. We went a couple of hours fishing more gravel flats but didn't manage any more fish. I caught a couple more shorts but they were just little 13 inch bass. My boater was scratching his head and I said how about we try one of these flats that has a channel swing close by because that's where I've been catching all my fish lately. My boater was cool with that so we went on up the lake and stopped on a channel swing flat and on about the third cast I caught a 6lb 10 ounce bass on a crankbait. When I hooked up with the fish I knew I had a big one. At first I thought to myself this can't be a bass. The fish kept staying down and almost was fighting like a catfish. The water was really muddy and I didn't want to horse him up to try to see him too soon. I let the fish tire himself out because were in open water but I also didn't want the fish to find something on the bottom to get hung on. Eventually the giant bass tired itself out and my boater was able to scoop it up with the net.
I was pumped because with that one fish I knew I was probably going to get a check. After a couple of fist bumps with some pictures I stuck her in the live well and we kept fishing on up the flat. We came back to the area where I caught the big bass and my boater hooked up with a keeper but it managed to come off about halfway to the boat. I took a look at his crankbait and it had the factory hooks on it. One thing I can't stress enough is changing out all your hooks to some KVD Triple Grip Treble Hooks. Those things are the berries when it comes to cranking. I decided then to pick up a J-Town Tackle Black and Blue football jig with a beaver trailer and fire it out on the ledge and it wasn't long before I was boxing up keeper number three. That was all the bites I got the rest of the day. A terrific thunderstorm rolled in at about 1:30 and we had to start to head in. When I went to weigh in my fish I was happy to see that I was way up the leader board and settled into 5th place with 3 keepers that went almost 11lbs.
I really wanted to win but I was happy with my performance on a lake that I had never laid eyes on till the morning of the tournament. Sometimes it's great to go in blind without any preconceived notions and just fish the moment. I was also happy to add to the collection a nice FLW trophy and get a nice check for my top 5 finish.
After finishing up the tournament I had to make the trip from Percy Priest to Lake of the Ozarks because I was going to fish the Tri County Bass Club Jerkbait Only Tournament the next day. It's about a 7 hour drive from Nashville and I left Nashville around 5:30 and drove straight through.