Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tennessee River Time

Randy Haynes brought the biggest bag of the 3-day Rayovac FLW
Series Event on Kentucky Lake on the final day to win the Tennessee
River slugfest. FLW photo.

Nothing about this weekend's Rayovac FLW Series event on Kentucky Lake was a surprise. It was a slugfest, it was won on ledges, and Randy Haynes tallied the biggest three-day catch.

Ledge season brings some of the best fishing of the year to the Tennessee River, and it's time when the best of the best really shine at what they do. Everyone knows that events will be won on ledges this time of year, most pros know what to look for and what to throw, and many rotate through many of the same spots, all catching a bunch of fish. Yet the same guys do little things better than anyone else and figure out what it takes to find the best schools and fish them the right ways to bring in bigger bags than anyone else.

Randy Haynes has now won seven events with FLW, and six of them have been on the Tennessee River. He was the guy many pros would have picked to win, and he did, with more than 75 pound over three days and a tournament best catch of 27-10 on the final day.

Haynes had no single spot. In fact, he fished a different area yesterday than the first two days and he worked about 40 different ledges. He also rotated systematically through four lures. The best ledge fishermen have great instincts about when to stay and when to go and are masters at boat positioning and figuring out patterning subtleties. They see stuff no one else can quite put a finger on and figure out how to apply what the see.

This weekend's action leads into mighty important month on the Tennessee River and a serious spotlight on summer ledge fishing. The FLW Tour visits Pickwick next week and Kentucky Lake later in the season. Those two events wrap up the season, so an Angler of the Year and quite a few qualifiers for the Forrest Wood Cup will be decided on the ledges in June.

Between the dates of those two events, the Bassmaster Elite Series will visit Chickamauga Lake. Also a Tennessee River impoundment, Chickamauga has less quality ledge habitat than Pickwick or Kentucky Lake, but the current bass population is loaded with big fish.

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