I told you it was going to be a Griswold Family Vacation kind of day on Cherokee...unfortunately some of us never made it to Walley World...
First and foremost I would like to blame to weather man and his forecast of wind and clouds...hello...sun and slick calm doesn't translate into a good crankbait bite. With all blame aside, this goes right back to the article from last year on decision making. Instead of adjusting to the conditions and making changes, I ran all over the place trying to force feed those bass what I wanted them to bite and that is never a good remedy for a tough day.
The day saw a very stark contrast among boats...you were either on them or you were stone cold. 8 out of 19 anglers zeroed in this event, using up one of those valuable Drops and no individual angler weighed in a limit of bass.
The lake had several different conditions throughout. Water temperatures were in the upper 50's to lower 60's depending on where you were on the lake. There also seemed to be somewhat of an algae bloom happening mixed with dirty water in the main lake between Macedonia and Poor Valley. The water then cleared considerably as you made your way down the lake towards German Creek.
The bags that were brought in by our anglers pointed to several different techniques, but their locations all pointed to pre-spawn staging bass. The top two teams of Crockett/Oiler and Renfro/Meade found their success on the four points heading into T-Hollar, a prime staging area for bass moving further back into the large pocket to spawn. The reports from these two teams was that fish were caught on crankbaits, jigs, and small swimbaits. Gary Clark also had a very nice bag of Cherokee Lake bass. Gary focused the majority of his time on 45 degree banks with a tight-lined Gulp Minnow. Looking at the these locations and techniques tells up that the majority of the bass that were active were still in a Winter to Pre-Spawn pattern...
Then there are some of the other reports...like Long-A's in the very back of Million Dollar Hollar, at 2:30 in the afternoon, that throw you for a loop.
Overall, Crockett and Oiler were the only team to put together a team limit and they brought to the scales with 13.1 lbs. for first place. Renfro and Meade took second with only three fish for almost 9 lbs., so they had a solid average if they could have just put a couple more in the box. Gary Clark rounded out the top three with four fish by himself that weighed 8.03 lbs. Renfro and Meade extend their lead in the TOY standings and Crockett and Oiler jumped up to second on the TOY standings.
It seems to me that even though we have had a mild Winter, these bass are close to where the were last year, if not a little behind. It will be interesting to see with all of these cold fronts, where the bass are at in their transition when we get to Douglas.
Always be willing to adjust and make changes...stubbornness will only lead to an empty livewell and a hole to dig yourself out of in the AOY!
See you on the water!