The anglers of the TNCBA were dealt some difficult weather conditions for their opener on Cherokee Lake this past Saturday. The morning prior to the tournament saw heavy rains move through the Morristown area and the results were very apparent come Saturday morning. As anglers launched their boats from the 25-E ramp, the water temperature was around 43 degrees and the water was very stained. Anglers gathered at the mouth of Turkey Creek and anticipation could be felt by everyone as boat numbers were called and the 2014 TNCBA season began.
Boats seemed to be split about which direction they wanted to go on Cherokee Lake and the upper end and lower end were like night and day differences. Anglers that headed down towards the dam found very clear, cold water out on the main lake. Temperatures were reported to be in the 40-41 degree range and there were no reports of fish being caught below German Creek. Anglers heading up towards the river, discovered heavily stained water and water temperatures in the upper 40's. The TNCBA anglers were also facing a post front scenario with high blue bird skies and little wind.
David Crockett and David Oiler were able to jump out to an early lead as they had 5 bass by 9 am and no one else would be able to come close. Oiler and Crockett caught some of their early bass on a silver buddy and then they switched to a crankbait to finish out their catch of 16.10 lbs. The second place team of Bob Harvey and Robert Chatman spent most of their day below 25-E and rode their crankbait bite to a catch of 8.30 lbs. Ryan Pope and Wiley Gobble made good decisions throughout the day as they moved from the cold clear water of the lower end, to the warm stained water of mid-lake. Pope and Gobble abandoned their A-Rig and jerkbait tactics for for a medium diving crankbait which led them to a 7.57 lbs catch and a third place finish.
Reports from other anglers revealed that the mud and sunny weather had moved fish shallower than many had expected and eliminated the chance of an A-Rig or jerkbait bite. As the TNCBA prepares for their second tournament in March, the club will more than likely be greeted by a much warmer and higher Cherokee Lake. The month of March often leads to lots of rain and stained water where a squarebill crankbait will have the opportunity to shine as heavy females begin to move into the shallow staging areas. The first one is out of the way and now it is time to settle in and focus on the TNCBA AOY. Consistency is key and the most important thing is putting fish in the boat at each tournament.
Get out and do some fishing!