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66th Place out of 193 Lake Chickamauga COSTA Series

This tournament did not go as well as planned. Mostly because I drew out two boaters from Lake Okeechobee that didn't have a clue as to what the fish were doing. Most of the time I don't say much about the boaters I fish with but if you don't weigh in a fish in two days of fishing Lake Chickamauga in March you might want to take a step back for a second and try and understand what you're doing fishing a COSTA Series event on that lake. Lake Chickamauga is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country. If you are going to be fishing a tournament on Lake Chickamauga at the end of March you know that the big sticks are going to be laying the hammer on big bass. The lake is loaded with big fish and lots of them. I know when I got my pairing on Day 1 my boater said that he had not caught a limit of bass all week. He said that the fishing was going to be tough. I knew that the sticks were going to be hammering big fish all weekend on the lake. Lake Chickamauga is kinda like Lake of the Ozarks which I would consider my home lake. It doesn't really matter what the weather, time of year, or season there are going to be some really big fish weighed in by the guys that figure it out and lots of them.

Day 1 was one of the most frustrating days of fishing I've experienced this year. My boater never caught even a short fish all day and I was able to catch around 11 fish including a huge 40lb drum.

I ended up catching a half dozen bass that went 14 and 3/4 quarters to 14 and 7/8 inches long. The length limit on Chick is 15 inches. It was super frustrating being so close on a couple of fish. If I would have weighed in a couple of fish on day one I probably would have gotten a check. I ended up catching all my fish on day 1 throwing a little 3.8 Kietech swimbait on just a 1/8th oz ball head jig. I would throw the swimbait all around the boat and had my best luck up close to the bank.

Day 2 was a little better than day 1 for me. My boater on day two failed to weigh in a fish on day 1 so I knew that I was also in for another tough day. I will say it again some of the guys were really sacking them in the top 50. It's just hard when you draw the guys that are not on the fish to be competitive when so many of the boaters were really catching fish that week. My boater on day two fished the bank and since we were in the same areas as my guy on day 1 I knew I was going to have to make an adjustment or else I wouldn't catch anything. My first keeper of the day came on a Rapala Shad rap crankbait off the bottom around one of those little floating buoys. I threw the crankbait out and reeled it right down the side of the cable holding the buoy hoping that I would run the bait into the rock at the end of the cable and sure enough everything worked out an I was swinging a 3 lb largemouth in the boat. A good amount of time passed by and it wasn't till 1 o'clock in the afternoon that I was able to load the boat with 3 more keepers off one spot on a Megabass jerkbait. I was working the jerkbait off this point so fast that the fish were probably hooking themselves on the retrieve. It was evident that the fish were schooling up on this spot. My boater said that during the week there were a lot of boats every morning on the spot which usually means the fish are biting.

I ended up weighing my fish in for around 10.5 lbs which placed me into 66th place overall in the tournament. After the weigh in I also got a message that said I was ranked 48th in points overall for the COSTA Series Championship which will be this fall. I'm headed to Santee Cooper Reservoir at the end of April so hopefully can secure a top finish and propel myself into the championship. It all comes down to the tournament at the end on April on Lake Chickamauga. My main goal is to sneak into that top 40 cut because the Champoinship is where someone could change their life by winning that tournament.

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