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DeFoe culling, has 14 pounds

10:46 am EDT, May 31, 2014

It’s broken wide open upriver for Ott DeFoe.


We’re in the middle of a school of largemouth mixed in with white bass. The fish clearly are in the middle of a feeding frenzy.


He’s on his third round of culling.


The bait of choice is a crankbait that he’s working through the schools of baitfish and bass.


Estimated weight: 14 pounds. His smallest fish weighs probably 2 1/2 pounds.

DeFoe breaks a limit

10:12 am EDT, May 31, 2014

Ott DeFoe has a limit with an estimated weight of 12 pounds.


He’s now running to isolated fishing spots on the river. It’s a three-bait tactic.

  1. Crankbait: Coverage bait to quickly assess the strike zone in a particular spot.
  2. Worm: Finesse bait for a missed fish or an area that needs a more methodical presentation.
  3. Topwater: Secondary coverage bait to trigger a reaction bite.

It continues to be very overcast here with low-light conditions.


Meanwhile, down in the lake where we don’t know what’s going on ... The TVA water release schedule for today calls for one generator to run from 9-10 a.m. Two or more generators run beginning at 1 p.m.


Yesterday I posed the proverbial question about whether or not the bite turns on with the current. Got a mixed review of answers. Long-liners said “no” because they are fishing so deep. Structure anglers said “yes” because it moves their fish tighter to cover.

DeFoe with 10 pounds (and more)

9:11 am EDT, May 31, 2014

Here’s the report from the camera boat.


6:30 a.m. Camera boat departs ramp. Keep in mind we have to wait until all 12 boats leave the dock so we can publish the launch photo gallery. So we have to play catch-up.


7:45 a.m. Run all the way up into the river. Get stuck in fog bank. Begin idling aimlessly around.


7:50 a.m. Get boat hung up on rocks at idle speed. Strip down to undies. Rock boat off rocks. Resume search.


8:40 a.m. Find him!


Here’s the scoop so far. Ott DeFoe is fishing a boulder-strewn section of the river. Casting targets are the eddies and current breaks. Presentation is like this: Boat down current, casts up stream and into the current breaks.


You’ve got to give him credit for going all out and leaving behind the chance to go crankbait long-lining and fishing the deeper confines of the lower lake.


In the livewell: four bass.


Estimated weight: 10 pounds.


Just lost No. 5. Now we’re moving back down stream. More to come.

BoatU.S. TowBoat leads DeFoe to the lake

6:28 am EDT, May 31, 2014

It's 6 o'clock and time to go

6:24 am EDT, May 31, 2014

National anthem

6:23 am EDT, May 31, 2014

DeFoe ready for the day

6:21 am EDT, May 31, 2014

Co-angler Travis DeHart with a 4.5 pound largemouth

1:08 pm EDT, May 30, 2014

Dan Owens made a friend in practice

12:59 pm EDT, May 30, 2014

Angler Dan Owens had a nice practice before yesterday's Day 1. He also made a new friend. Thanks for the pictures, Holli Woodward!

Bring on the current

9:53 am EDT, May 30, 2014

This screen shot from my MacBook says it all. Everyone in this tournament is living for the magic hour of 1 p.m. As the screen shows it’s when the TVA begins generating at Douglas Dam.


What that means is an instant turn-on for the bass. They’ll polarize around offshore targets—main lake points—and hide in ambush for bait as it comes by in the current.


What that means is the later flight, the better. And also the closer to the dam. Even all the more the better.