FLW Tour pro Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tennessee, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 19 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Igloo Coolers. Wooley’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 92-4 gave him a 1-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory over second place angler Livingston Lures pro Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Arkansas, in the nationally-televised event that featured 146 of the best professional bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I grew up fishing on Pickwick Lake and Kentucky Lake,” said Wooley, who earned the first Walmart FLW Tour victory of his career in just his second season as a professional. “To get the biggest win of my life on the Tennessee River really means a lot to me. This win is just what I needed to continue my career. This lake is absolutely incredible.
“I thought I had lost the tournament today,” Wooley continued. “My key area where I have caught all of my fish this week shut down, and I was only able to catch two fish there. I had to scramble and run a couple of schools that I had been practicing on each day after I’d catch my big weight. I was extremely nervous, because those schools weren’t holding the quality of fish that my original area was. Luckily I was able to pick off a few and got a couple of good bites.
“It was a grind. I thought my limit was a lot smaller than what it ended up being, so that final weigh-in was really stressful,” Wooley said.
Wooley said that he caught his fish this week on a mussel-laden bar near the Chester Frost Park boat ramp. He did most of his damage in the mornings when the gizzard shad were feeding and was catching fish in 12 to 13 feet of water. His key baits were a 1/2-ounce hand-poured shaky head with a green pumpkin Zoom Magnum Trick Worm and a green pumpkin 3/4-ounce Strike King Football Jig with a Strike King Rage Craw.
“I fished pretty clean all week, and I only lost one fish,” Wooley went on to say. “Lake Chickamauga will always be special to me after this one. I’ve never been to the Potomac River, but now I’ve got some momentum coming off this one and I love to fish in the grass so I’m going to give it my best shot and we’ll see what happens.”
The top 10 pros finished the tournament:
- Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., 20 bass, 92-4, $125,000
- Livingston Lures pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 20 bass, 90-13, $29,154
- Walmart pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 20 bass, 85-9, $24,288
- Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 20 bass, 77-12, $19,421
- Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 20 bass, 72-8, $18,448
- Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 20 bass, 71-12, $17,474
- Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 20 bass, 70-3, $16,501
- Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind., 19 bass, 68-11, $15,528
- Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 18 bass, 68-1, $14,554
- Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 16 bass, 62-8, $13,581
A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.