Tiebreaker odds

It's 2020, the year when anything and everything is off, so why not add a tiebreaker to Championship Saturday? Take a look at the BASSTrakk standings and there is a very real possibility it could happen.

Derek Hicks, Cody Bird, Stephen Browning and Matt Robinson, 1st through 4th, respectively, all have 31 pounds showing up on the scoreboard. Hicks is only 7 ounces behind, Browning is next with a deficit of 11 ounces, and Robertson is 14 ounces out of the lead. 

There is no tiebreaker rule in place for determining a winner in the Bassmaster rulebook. Determining a winner shall be down by a fishoff between the two anglers tied for the lead.

A timeline for that process, if needed, will be determined by Senior Tournament Manager Chris Bowes at today's final weigh-in.

Storms setting in

I’m currently hunkered under a boathouse with rains hammering the lake - and thunder rumbling around us. 

We were following Joey Nania, who shows in third place in BASSTrakk, but he disappeared in the rain and we pulled off for safety. 

And the radar promises more to come. I’m not sure how this will affect the fishing, but it promises to be a very wet Championship Saturday.

Kimura on the board

Kenta Kimura, who started today in second, just landed his first fish of the day. 
It wasn’t a giant, but the little bass broke the ice on Kimura’s second stop. 
The catch should move him to within ounces of current third-place pro Joey Nania. 
Stephen Browning is the current leader, according to BASSTrakk, with three fish already fir 4-4. 

Generators on, now what?

Just about the same time as yesterday, Alabama Power has turned on one generator each at Neely Henry and Weiss dams, respectively. Weiss is generating 8,294 CFS.

From my vantage point at the boat ramp, I'm seeing a lot of boat movement. Could that mean anglers are jockeying into position at their best areas to take advantage of the moving water? 

We shall see. Yesterday, the current didn't seem to matter, with the later flights not bringing any notable heavier catches to the scales. By comparison, this time yesterday we had several double-digit weights, according to BASSTrakk. Today, there are none as of this writing. 

A busy bridge

It's no secret that fishing around bridge piers is a hot ticket this week on Neely Henry. Current breaks and ambush points are reasons why. Directly beneath one of them — the Broad St. bridge — is the weigh-in stage. There are also numerous anglers making brief stops as they pass by on their run-and-gun, milk-run, junk fishing forays. 

Here is Brandon Palaniuk, landing a keeper at the bridge. It was just a momentary stop; he packed up and headed elsewhere after the catch. 

Waiting on 'em

Matthew Robertson is waiting on the current. He is currently parked under the Highway 77 bridge, and when the dam starts generating, he thinks the bite will turn on. For now, he’s just biding out his time.

Catching up with G-Man

We found Gerald Swindle and while I was worried I had missed his early morning bite putting together the launch gallery, it turns out that I did not. Gerald reports he has one fish for 1 pound. Not the start he wanted, but maybe I’ll get to see some fish catches. He’s working the banks and docks close to takeoff south of downtown Gadsden.

Nania dialed in?

Joey Nania revealed what I was curious about what might pan out this week on Neely Henry. That is mixing a particular technique into a junk fishing arsenal of lures.

Nania lives in Pell City, Ala., which is located on Logan Martin, the next fishery below Neely Henry on the Coosa River.

"What I'm doing is like a home lake deal," he said.

Nania is picking up a finesse jig more than any other lure. He's also narrowed his junk fishing to a small area, offering a variety of habitat. That makes sense, considering the wide open, running and gunning necessary for most junk fishing. Less time running and more time fishing goes a long way here.

What else is key for his strategy is the 5-pound largemouth he caught on Thursday. Just catching a limit is a challenge, upgrading is only possible with a kicker fish, which he caught, adding confidence to his game plan.

I also just checked the Alabama Power generation schedule. The generators are idle from one end of the lake to the other, a Weiss Dam and Neely Henry Dam, respectively. Yesterday the generators began operating at midday.

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