I have been running around on the river now for a few hours. Seeing a lot of boats but not a lot of action. Casting, winding and the occasional small fish catch. Looks like there's a little storm rolling in. Maybe that will help the bite.
Dawson Lenz and Robb Young of UNA with 18 pounds already. Looks like they're feeling pretty good.
University of West Georgia gets there Lowrance units updated prior to blast off of Carhartt Bassmaster College Wildcard event. Photo by Tom Branch.
University of Georgia (UGA) anglers are trying to qualify for the College Championship in their home state next month, and the Wild Card is their last chance. Photo by Tom Branch Jr.
Found my first little wad of anglers out here on the ledges. The Tennessee River has become synonymous with group fishing. Several anglers inevitably find the same schools and end up fishing or trying to fish the same places.
This has added a new level of intensity to the competition as things usually get pretty heated in these crowds. Early on Day 1, I don't expect that much drama. No one has any more right to a spot than anyone else since everyone is still on their starting spot. But when people start running around and leave their starting spot for someone else's, that's when the nerves start to unravel for some.
The real fun begins when the current starts rolling. Without fail, one guy will start catching fish after fish, usually good ones. That's because they are on the spot on the spot. One little key characteristic that has the fish grouped up tight and biting. It's hard to fish within sight of a whackfest worth 20 to 25 pounds and not ease that way at least a little. Then the boat that eases in catches a good one and the gloves usually come off. We'll give these guys the benefit of the doubt for now. But trust me, it's going to get intense out here somewhere today.
Shaye Baker checks in from Pickwick Lake on Day 1 of the Carhartt College B.A.S.S. Wild Card.
I received a tip this morning that there was a team just up from the ramp that had been catching them good this week. I found a couple guys just up from the ramp fishing with the same thing said team was supposed to be fishing with.
After about 10 minutes and some real curious glances in my direction I felt the need to ask, "You guys fishing the college derby?"
They were not. So here's to you, whoever you are. Enjoyed our impromptu photo shoot this morning.