Local anglers in top 30 at FLW Tour stop on Lake Chickamauga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local anglers in top 30 at FLW Tour stop on Lake Chickamauga

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DAYTON, Tenn. (FLW Tour) -- Ledge-fishing was the name of the game Thursday as Randy Haynes of Counce, Tenn., brought a five-bass limit to the scales weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces to take the lead after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Chevy.

Haynes holds a very slim one-ounce lead over Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., heading into the second of four days of competition in the tournament that features the world's best bass-fishing anglers casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.

"I caught around a dozen keepers today," said Haynes, who was earned a victory earlier this season at the FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula. "A lot of them were pretty small, though. The smallest fish that I weighed in today was three pounds, which was kind of disappointing considering I had three over 5 (pounds)."

"It's real crowded out there. I don't know what I'm doing differently. I'm just doing what I do."

Morehead was one of many anglers raving about the tour's second visit to Lake Chickamauga in the last three years. He was the only pro to join Haynes topping the 23-pound mark.

"I'm not catching a lot of numbers, but when I catch a bite it is a quality bite," Morehead said. "It's an unbelievable fishery, especially being this close to Chattanooga. It's a small lake and there's not a lot of secrets, but it's one of the top ten in the country, there's no doubt."

Coming into this tournament, many pros thought that drawing an early takeoff number in the pre-event boat draw would be a key factor. Haynes did not believe his draw had any effect on his day.

All three local pros stand in the top 30 after the opening round. The top 20 anglers in the 143-man field after Friday's action will advance to the weekend.

Spring City's Wes Strader led the Rhea County contingent, checking in 19th with a five-bass limit of 18 pounds, 7 ounces.

Dayton's Andy Morgan, the current leader in the Anglre of the Year standings, is six ounces back in 22nd position.

"It's the coolest thing you could ever ask for as a professional fisherman that the end of the season is right here at home in the hills and hollers of East Tennessee," Morgan said. "I learned a long time ago not to worry about (the point standings) or (fishing on my home lake).

"I just go out and fish the day, and all of that stuff will work itself out."

Another Dayton-based pro enjoying a special week is Michael Neal. He owns the Dayton Boat Dock, which serves as the launch site for the tournament, and is experiencing first-hand the reward of countless hours of hard work put in by both he and his staff.

"There was a lot of preparation going on where I couldn't think about the tournament, but now that's all that's on my mind. Anything else that's going on, I told them not to call me and not to bother me," Neal said with a smile. "Of course, making a check is always nice, but really just seeing this tournament come in here and what it's doing to this town, it's a really special thing."

The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Chickamauga are:

1st: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., five bass, 23-8
2nd: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 23-7
3rd: Casey Martin, New Market, Ala., five bass, 22-15
4th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., five bass, 22-12
5th: Bill Day, Frankfort, Ky., five bass, 22-11
6th: Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 22-10
7th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 22-3
8th: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., five bass, 20-8
9th: Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, five bass, 20-6
10th: M&M's pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., five bass, 20-2

For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.

Day won the 3M ScotchBlue Big Bass Award on the pro side Thursday with a fish weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces, worth $500.

Overall there were 600 bass weighing 1,785 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 139 pros Thursday. The catch included 94 five-bass limits.

The top 10 co-anglers are:

1st: Jason Johnson, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 19-8
2nd: Shane Winchester, Glasgow, Ky., five bass, 18-11
3rd: John Kite, Festus, Mo., five bass, 18-7
4th: Brock Mosley, Collinsville, Miss., five bass, 17-0
5th: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 16-13
6th: Kenny Beale Jr., Blairs, Va., five bass, 16-5
7th: Wesley Watson, Bracey, Va., five bass, 15-12
8th: Mike Hardin Sr., Robertsdale, Ala., five bass, 15-6
9th: Mike Devere, Berea, Ky., five bass, 15-3
10th: Andrew Luxon, Richmond, Ky., five bass, 15-1

Anglers will take off from the Dayton Boat Dock located at 175 Lakeshore Drive in Dayton at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the Dayton Boat Dock beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 3034 Rhea County Highway in Dayton beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will also be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

Information provided by Walmart FLW Tour Media Relations and FLWOutdoors.com.

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