The Bassmaster BASSfest at Chickamauga Lake was scripted to be an offshore slugfest during its inception last year. Although the majority of the anglers are still calling for the tournament to be won offshore, the lack of current that typically dictates the bite on the Tennessee River has most scratching their head when it comes to predicting an odds on favorite.
The obvious answers like Kevin VanDam for his past performances on the Tennessee River aren’t as obvious since the Tennessee River isn’t being its usual self. With less water being released by the Tennessee Valley Authority, anglers experienced a tough practice and are starting to wonder if this thing could be won doing something other than ledge fishing.
We chatted with a few anglers and here are their three picks to do well at this event. Since BASSfest also has Bass Pro Shops Opens anglers competing, we thought we’d make things interesting and have them select two Elite anglers to look out for as well as their favorite from the Open competitors.
1. Kevin VanDam because of his track record on the Tennessee River.
2. Justin Lucas because he knows the Tennessee River good too.
3. Opens: David Kilgore because he catches them everywhere.
1. Aaron Martens - Deep fishing and unless they decide to pull the water tomorrow its not a current thing.
2. Keith Combs - Deep fishing, right up his alley.
3. Opens: Gary Clouse because he’s a hometown boy.
1. Aaron Martens because this place is off and that’s his deal.
2. Russ Lane because he’s good at finding and catching schools of fish.
3. Opens: Matt Lee because he knows the Tennessee River.
1. David Walker because he’s from around here and he won the last time they were on Wheeler.
2. Kevin VanDam because he’s an obvious choice.
3. Opens: Jt Kenney because he taught me most of what I know about ledge fishing.
1. Greg Hackney because he’s hot right now.
2. Aaron Martens because it’s a tough bite.
3. Opens: Jacob Wheeler because that’s the first name I recognized.
1. Aaron Martens thinks outside the box so he’s really good at finding something no one else will and that’s going to be key his week.
2. Ott DeFoe is a Tennessee boy who understands these fish and he’s good at using his electronics.
3. Opens: Luke Clausen has fished here this time of year and has done well here.
1. Matt Reed because he’s had a couple good days.
2. Tommy Biffle because he’s a shallow water guy and it’s tough out deep right now.
3. Opens: Luke Clausen because he’s versatile and it’s tough out there right now.
1. Terry Scroggins is a versatile guy and the fish aren’t biting good deep.
2. Mike McClelland because he’s a good structure fisherman.
3. Opens: Jt Keeney because he’s really good at ledge fishing on the Tennessee River.
1. Mark Davis because he catches them everywhere.
2. Brett Hite because Skeet says so.
3. Opens: Luke Clausen because I saw what he was doing during practice.