Everyone in this tournament has a game plan. On the Tennessee River system, that game plan can be influenced by another. That game plan is the generation schedule of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
TVA has a game plan about how to prevent it from flooding throughout the entire system, the watershed of which begins in east Tennessee.
Cherokee and Douglas lakes are the key influencers for what happens downstream at Fort Loudoun Lake. Here's the game plan for today, Saturday and Sunday, based on the predicted 4 inches of rain in the forecast through the weekend.
At Cherokee, the predicted average daily discharge is 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday it jumps to 11,360 cfs. At Douglas, the predicted average daily discharge is 18,700 cfs on Friday, with 5,000 cfs on Saturday and Sunday.
Now, check out the Midnight Elevation column in the graphic for Fort Loudoun, where it matters the most. It holds steady at 809.23 above sea level. The gates will be wide open at the dam, to keep it steady.
What's all that mean for fishing? Too soon to tell, but there will be a current factor as water moves from Cherokee and Douglas, and then into and out of Loudoun.
Current is a way of life for the largemouth and smallmouth in these lakes. They don't swim away from it, merely repositioning to current breaks, such as bottom structure, points and channel bends. Dialing into how they do that will be a must over the weekend.