Rain brings changes for Team anglers


Ronnie Moore

After receiving considerable rain yesterday for the first time in weeks, the northwest corner of the Volunteer State appears to be in for another rainy evening, according to local and national weather services.

The rain is welcomed by many here in the state, which has dealt with horrific wildfire in other parts of Tennessee in recent days.

There’s no telling, though, what kind of effect recent (and future) rain will have on the bite during the opening day of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship Wednesday on Kentucky Lake.

The rain is expected to clear out by morning, but cold weather is behind it. Temperatures reached a high of 64 degrees on Tuesday, but aren’t expected to nudge north of 54 degrees in the Paris area on Wednesday. The cooler temperatures will be coupled with mostly sunny skies, as well as steady westerly winds in the 8-13 mph range.

And on Thursday, the thermometer isn’t expected to climb higher than 48 degrees during fishing hours.

Last week, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Menendez (who lives in nearby Paducah, Kentucky,) hinted that rough weather could lead anglers to look for a smallmouth bite. But he also predicted that largemouth bass could be holed up in the backs of bays, off points, and in river channels.

Approximately 200 two-person teams from around the U.S. are at Kentucky Lake this week to compete in the championship. They are composed of angles from various independently operated team trails sanctioned by B.A.S.S. After the winning duo is crowned Thursday, members of the top three teams (six anglers in all) will fish individually in the Bassmaster Team Championship Classic Fish-Off, with the winning anglers earning the final spot up for grabs in the 2017 Geico Bassmaster Classic to be held in March on Lake Conroe near Houston, Tex.

A slight warming trend is expected in the Paris area on Friday for the first day of the Classic Fish-Off, but the mercury is forecast to dip again on Saturday during the final day of competition.

Despite the overnight rain, and cold temperatures, B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart said all systems are go, and the tournament is expected to proceed on schedule.

Fishing in the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship, which is being hosted by the Henry County Alliance, will begin with take-off at 6:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday. Weigh-in will follow at 2:30 p.m. CST.