Lake Chickamauga Readies for Return of 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Jun 19th, 2020 by Keith Worrall
Modified Jun 19th, 2020 at 11:56 AM
Lake Chickamauga Readies for Return of 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Super-Tournament to Feature 204 Pros – Including 54 Major League Fishing Anglers – Competing for $1.3 Million Purse
DAYTON, Tenn. (June 17, 2020) – After a three-month hiatus, FLW’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit returns June 23-26. The fourth regular-season tournament of the season – the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Chickamauga – will launch from the Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton, Tennessee. Hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic & Tourism Council, the lucrative tournament will feature 206 pros competing for a piece of more than $1.3 million, with a top award of $160,000.
FLW has worked closely with local hosts and public health officials at the national, state and county levels in coordinating the event. The health and safety of anglers, marshals, staff and sponsors remain the top priority. The event will be held with attendance limited to anglers and essential tournament staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded four-day “FLW Live” coverage and weigh-in broadcasts at FLWFishing.com.
“Dayton and Rhea County are honored to be hosting the upcoming Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament and are excited for competitive fishing to be back on Lake Chickamauga,” said John Bamber, Executive Director of Rhea Economic and Tourism. “We’re thankful to our partners at FLW whose planning and expertise will no doubt execute a fun event with appropriate guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Like people all over the world, we’ll be watching online in order to keep the crowds to a minimum.”
Originally a field of 150 anglers, the roster was expanded to 204 after 54 Major League Fishing (MLF) anglers accepted an invitation to compete in three Super-Tournaments. MLF announced an abbreviated 2020 Bass Pro Tour schedule due to their mid-season pause related to the coronavirus and inflexible television production deadlines, which prompted FLW Executive Vice President Kathy Fennel to create the opportunity for both FLW and MLF pros. Pros competing in this event include former FLW champions Bryan Thrift, Justin Atkins, John Cox, Brad Knight, Anthony Gagliardi, Jacob Wheeler, Brent Ehrler, David Dudley and Darrel Robertson. They’ll be joined by bass-fishing superstars like Jordan Lee, Skeet Reese and the man many deem the FLW G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), Andy Morgan.
“It’ll shake things up, and I’m not complaining about it at all. I’m excited to see those (MLF) guys,” said Ron Nelson, the current Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year (AOY) points leader. “This whole year has been upside down and changed, but I’m looking forward to having a positive rest of the season. There’s a lot of bad stuff in this country people are dealing with, and we get to go fishing and have fun and make a living.”
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day from Point Park at Dayton Boat Dock, located at 185 Chickamauga Drive, in Dayton. The weigh-in each day will also be held at Dayton Boat Dock and will begin at 3 p.m. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded “FLW Live” broadcasts and weigh-in coverage at FLWFishing.com.
“The Tennessee River has taken a pounding since the start of the coronavirus, but it’s still Lake Chickamauga, and we’re going to see some big bass and some huge limits,” said local MLF pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tennessee, who will also be competing in the event. “Guys can cash a check fishing shallow, but the guy that wins will be fishing offshore. Everybody is well versed in electronics, so the key factors are going to be timing, rotation and the water generation schedule. I predict the four-day winner will have right around 75 pounds.”
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 204 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Tuesday and Wednesday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Thursday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition on Championship Friday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, Aug. 24-29.
MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit “Super Tournaments” will fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast has been expanded to air on all four days of competition, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell and MLF’s Marty Stone to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Chickamauga will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Aug. 14 on the Outdoor Channel. Beginning July 3 and running through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Episodes have been expanded to two hours long, allowing each show to go in-depth to break down the final rounds of regular-season competition. Each episode will premiere in Friday night primetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).