Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Chickamauga Day 1: Billy McDonald Leads Ledge Fest!

Prior to the start of Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Igloo Coolers on Lake Chickamauga this morning, the biggest limit of bass Billy McDonald had ever weighed in at a tournament was 25 pounds, 2 ounces of smallmouths on Lake St. Clair.
This is the kind that helps lead tournaments.
(Photo: FLW)
Today, he crushed that personal best mark by more than 4 pounds with a five-bass limit that weighed 29 pounds, 12 ounces. His two best bass weighed 8 pounds and 7 pounds, 9 ounces.
If you think McDonald tapped the “mega-school” of a lifetime, guess again. He didn’t even scour the ledges with his DownScan or play musical shell beds with other boats.
While groups of boats on the main river waited for the current to run on a slick, blistering hot day, McDonald was getting it done off the main river.
“I fished by myself all day,” he says. “I’m not playing the schools or riding around idling forever looking for them. I just decided to put my trolling motor down and fish.”
Surprisingly, McDonald reports catching two of his bigger fish from shallow grass. Two other brutes came on back-to-back casts with a deep-diving crankbait on an offshore spot not associated with the main river.
“I had a good practice fishing shallow,” he adds. “A lot of the ones I caught in practice still had bloody tails, so I think some are just now coming of beds.”
McDonald has a 3-pound, 10-ounce lead over offshore specialist Michael Wooley. Behind them, 13 more pros topped the 20-pound mark, making this a good old-fashioned Tennessee River shootout.

Top 10 Pros
1. Bill McDonald – Greenwood, Ind. – 29-12 (5)  
2. Michael Wooley – Collierville, Tenn. – 26-02 (5)
3. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 23-09 (5)      
4. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 23-06 (5)        
5. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 22-11 (5)           
6. Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind. – 22-10 (5)           
7. Brad Knight – Lancing, Tenn. – 22-09 (5)        
8. Darrell Davis – Dover, Fla. – 22-07 (5)  
9. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 22-04 (5)          
10. Matt Arey – Shelby, N.C. – 21-00 (5)

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