Both of the locks that connect Pickwick and Wilson lakes have been closed for electrical repairs but are expected to reopen Friday morning, according to B.A.S.S. tournament officials, who have been staying in touch with the Wilson Dam lockmaster.
With Bassmaster Elite Series pros putting in at McFarland Park on Pickwick for the Alabama Charge, the lock closures put Wilson inside the tournament waters only on the final two days of the April 6-9 tournament.
So anglers can opt for Wilson, but such a switch would be a drastic midgame change. During the Monday-Wednesday practice, anglers can scout the upper lake by trailering their boats to a Wilson put-in spot (although they must launch from McFarland Park during the event), but a dry run on locking won't be possible.
Edwin Evers is one angler who isn't likely to opt for a trip through a lock.
"If the lock were open three days, I might have considered it," he said.
According to the Tennessee Valley Authority, operator of the Tennessee River's locks and dams, the main lock at Wilson is 110 by 600 feet. With a maximum lift of 100 feet, it is the highest single lift lock east of the Rockies. The auxiliary lock has two 60- by 300-foot chambers that operate in tandem.