“Watch this.”

“Watch this,” says Austin Felix as he turned around and looked at me in the back of the boat.

With that, the Sleepy Assassin picked up a wacky worm and skipped it against the sea wall, gave it a three count and began reeling his fourth keeper back to the boat.

The fish didn’t put up a fight and as Felix explained, the fish has probably been through this drill before. At any rate, Felix needs one more bass to complete his limit.

As difficult as it’s been to put a limit together this week, bringing five to the stage on Championship Monday, regardless of size, maybe enough to move Felix up the leaderboard.

Felix on the move

Austin Felix has moved into an area that he’s visited each day fishing docks. He caught his limit in this area on Day 1, mined it for a few keepers on Day 2, another on Day 3 and he’s back again on Championship Monday.

The Siteline Pro has caught three fish in this area so far today, two of which did not make the cut, the keeper being slightly over a pound.

Skipping a small Ned Rig presentation under the docks is the plan for Felix and while he knows that it may not produce the big bite he’s looking for, mining this area of docks could allow him to fill out his limit before sending him back up the lake in search of a kicker fish.

The water in this area is down about six inches which could add to the changing conditions which include a great deal of pressure this week.

Whitaker has epic catfish battle

Jake Whitaker felt a fish hit his lure on the fall, while making another cast in the marina that has produced all his bass this week. He thought he'd hooked the big bass that he needs to cut the 5-13 deficit he started the day with. But that thought quickly vanished.

"I don't think this is a bass," Whitaker said, as his rod bowed double. "I've got me a catfish."

But Whitaker couldn't see it, so there was still hope.

"It's a catfish, I just felt the roll," Whitaker said. "I want to see him. I'd crap if it was about a 15-pounder (bass)."

When Whitaker finally did see the fish, after a long, line-stretching battle, he confirmed it was a catfish, but said he wanted to land him in order to get his jig hook back. Whitaker did just that, lifting a blue catfish weighing an estimated 30 to 35 pounds into his boat.

"It's not a bass," Whitaker said, "but I tell you one thing. I would not go hungry at Lake Chickamauga this week."

Photographer Shane Durrance documented the catch. And he heard a local man on the dock explain that breakfast leftovers, like yogurt and Cheerios, are regularly fed to a family of blue cats living under the boat dock.

"You caught one of our pets," the man told Whitaker.

Blaylock determined

Stetson Blaylock is currently on the lower end of the lake in short creek where there is a large school of bass and Shad.

He’s basically chasing breaking fish. He’s caught two but both were short. One was a smallmouth. But there’s a ton of fish here.

Looks like he’s determined to peel out a few. Each day he’s finished his limit here.

This is as early as we’ve seen him in these parts. Buts it’s also a place where it’s obvious there are a lot of bites. He’s just got to get his timing right. Hit them perfect when the good ones are on top.

Blaylock's special spectators

Stetson Blaylock has some special spectators this morning.

His wife Lindsey and children Kei and Linnie are out here cheering him on.

Elite angler Randy Pierson was nice enough to tote them around.

Currently, they’ve not seen a whole lot. Blaylock has one caught early. He’s boated a few shorts. But he’s got a lot of work left. Either way, having your family with you on a day like this has to be even more special.

Huff catches "heart attack" bass

Mike Huff started the day in third place, 5 pounds behind leader Lee Livesay. But he's right in the middle of the fight for this title now, after landing a 7-pounder.

"Oh my gosh! Look at the size of that thing!" said Huff as he lifted the big largemouth into the boat. "I'm about to have a heart attack."

The 30-year-old second-year Elite Series angler from Corbin, Ky., is following the pattern he discovered yesterday, when he posted the second-largest weight of the tournament - 19 pounds, 1 ounce - on a day cut short by 2 1/2 hours due to a fog delay. He's about 10 miles below Watts Bar Dam, where the current is ripping, flipping bluff walls and laydowns. His lure of choice is a 3/8ths-ounce Cumberland Pro jig with a Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg trailer, which has been shortened for a smaller profile.

"When it gets tough back home, we (do this)," Huff said. "They don't want something big."

Five minutes after he put the big bass in the livewell, Huff said, "My heart rate is dangerously high right now."

Mike Huff is dangerously close to winning this tournament, although it's still early. He started this event in 50th place on Day 1, and moved up to 33rd on Day 2 before his big jump yesterday.

“The day’s still young!”

With one three-pounder in the boat, Austin Felix has made the short run to his starting spot from yesterday. Difference is, he’s hitting it today just over an hour earlier than he hit it yesterday due to the fog delay.

“Hopefully they’re here again and we’ll catch’em because we’re earlier than yesterday,” says the Phoenix Pro.

Felix has put the frog rod down in favor of the spinning tackle now. It took him a minute to locate exactly which rod he wanted to start with. “Too many rods on the deck,” he says to me.

“Well, you have 18 rods on the deck,” I responded. “That’s one less than yesterday when I counted 19 at one point.”

The young rookie responded, “The day’s still young!”

Whitaker's obscure bait

"Here, take a pic of this to give everybody a look."

Jake Whitaker retrieved this bait from his tacklebox and I snapped a pic with my iPhone. You'll see the sharper version soon in our Top Lures of Lake Chickamauga gallery.

It's from a Patrick Sebile designed series of baits called Hyperplastics, which imitate various predators. Whitaker is using the Dart Spin Pro. It features a patent-pending screw system with a swivel and blade, and molded in paths for easy rigging. All you need to do is add the swimbait or jig head. Whitaker is using the latter, a jig head weighing 1/8 ounce.

Whitaker is also using a Keitech FAT Swing Impact 2.8 swimbait on a 1/8-ounce jig head.

Whitaker's school fires

Shane Durrance just phoned me that the marina where Jake Whitaker has spent much of the tournament has lit up with schooling fish.

"They are everywhere," noted Shane.

Yesterday, the same thing happened, with a late flurry of schooling action solidifying Whitaker's place in Championship Monday. He's only got 2 in the livewell, weighing 2 pounds, 14 ounces, but just wait. The morning is young.

Pay close attention to Felix

Austin Felix is one angler to pay close attention to today. Fishing his second championship day of the Bassmaster Elite Series in as many weeks, the Minnesota pro is well worth paying attention to today.

First of all, he’s in 10th place despite bringing only two bass to the stage on Sunday. Earlier this year, fellow rookie angler Buddy Gross came from 10th place to win on the final day at Eufaula. Felix will need the right bites today to make a charge but anything can happen at Chickamauga Lake where you’re always one cast away from the fish of a lifetime.

Going out ahead of Felix today is another rookie, Kyle Welcher. Felix and Welcher find themselves in a head to head battle with each other for the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year title. Felix has a 20 point lead with an opportunity to gain or lose ground today depending on how he and Welcher perform.

You need another reason to follow Felix?

How about the Siteline Pro sits second in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings by 10 points to David Mullins. Mullins, who finished 18th this week has scored all the points he can for Chick and Felix has a chance to make up a little ground before heading to Lake Fork for the season finale.

No matter how this thing plays out, Felix is definitely one to watch!

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