Weather not a factor

PARIS, Tenn. — Thunderstorms are expected to move through the Paris, Tenn., area this afternoon and most anglers got a good drenching from a rogue downpour just prior to launch, but don't expect that to alter their Day One plans.

"Weather is irrelevant," said Greg Hackney. "I don't care what it does. I don't mind the rain, I just hope we don't get much lightning."

There is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms, but the bulk of the storms won't hit Kentucky Lake until later in the day. Still, they can expect to get rained on at some point in the day.

Often, anglers embrace rainy conditions because the bass get more active and feed better throughout the day. For Mike McClelland, Kentucky Lake fishes better when the sun is out.

"The thing I've always experienced fishing offshore ledges is that thunderstorms don't seem to help," McClelland said. "Rain and wind does help when we don't have much current, but I hope there's no thunder or lightning."

The high water just a month ago has largely disappeared and the current was gone at the end of practice. Without current, the bass can be harder to pin down in predictable "sweet spots" on the ledges Kentucky Lake is famous for.

"The current has been slack the last few days and the fishing has been tough," McClelland said. "It will take a pretty eventful rain to get them pulling current again though, and we certainly don't want it flooding like it did."

Hackney agreed with McClelland that Kentucky Lake fishes better when it is sunny. Contrary to popular thought that clouds and rain help activate bass, on Kentucky Lake, Hackney believes the sun increases fish activity.

"The fish are moving up and down on places when they are active," Hackney said. "A lot of times, this weather will keep them from moving up. Those hot, sunny days are what you want to move the bait up."

The bonus Hackney noted with cloudy, overcast days is that fish care promises to be easier than a day of hot, humid conditions because it will keep the surface temperature down.

He predicted that 18 pounds a day at a minimum would be needed and "even then I don't know if that would make me happy."

A weight like that would probably make Dustin Wilks happy. Wilks is one angler that plans to spend most of his day up shallow. For him, the weather could help make the shallow fish more active. After a week of practicing in sunny, hot conditions, this weather will be a big change.

"It ought to help the shallow water bite," Wilks said. "The fishing is tougher up shallow this year. In years past, you could catch 13 to 15 pounds off the bank pretty easily. This weather can't do anything but help."

The Day One weigh-in of the Tennessee Triumph begins this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET at Paris Landing State Park. Catch the broadcast on ESPN3 or follow all the coverage on throughout the event.