By MLF Communications Staff
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn.– Major League Fishing is set to continue the fifth season of the Bass Pro Tour with the second regular-season event of the year this week on Douglas and Cherokee lakes. Competition gets under way Saturday and runs through March 23.
“For two lakes to be so close, look alike, and have similar topography, they fish vastly different,” said veteran Tennesse pro Ott DeFoe. “Cherokee has more largemouth than ever, but it’s mainly a smallmouth fishery. Douglas has some smallmouth in it, but the largemouth are dominant.”
Another difference is the current cycle of the two lakes, with Cherokee fishing exceptionally well and Douglas being more challenging than it has traditionally been.
“The numbers are very good on Douglas, but the size is down compared to how it was in years past,” DeFoe said. “Cherokee has been great the past several years and is full of solid 3-pounders.”
The late March setting of this date is about perfect, according to DeFoe.
“It’s about a week earlier than what I would say is the best time of the year to fish in Tennessee, but the fishing should be excellent,” he said. “The fish will be in a prespawn pattern and we’ll see guys catch them with jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, and vibrating jigs. There should still be a good deep bite, and the ‘Damiki Rig’ will also catch some fish.”
Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. ET each day. The Qualifying Round (first four days of competition) will be held on Douglas Lake, with anglers launching from the Dandridge Ramp, located at 100 Public Drive, in Dandridge. The Knockout and Championship rounds will be held on Cherokee Lake, with anglers launching from the TVA Boat Launch, located on Renfro Road in Jefferson City.
Each day’s takeout will be held at the launch locations beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLF NOW! livestream and ScoreTracker coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The tournament will feature pros competing under the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, with each angler’s five heaviest bass per day tallied as their day’s weight.
The 40 Anglers in Group A compete in their two-day qualifying round on Saturday and Monday, with the 40 anglers in Group B on the water on Sunday and Tuesday. After each two-day qualifying round is complete, the Top 20 anglers from each group advance to Wednesday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 40 anglers compete to finish in the Top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In Thursday’s Championship Round, weight carries over from the Knockout Round and the angler with the heaviest two-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.
The MLF NOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on all six days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. MLF NOW! will be livestreamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.