It took almost 32 pounds of bass to win the March 30 Chattanooga Bass Association tournament on Chickamauga Lake. Baron Adams and Brian Pierce caught five bass that averaged more than 6 pounds apiece to claim the $2,000 first prize in the Saturday event, which was sponsored by Reddick Auto Body.
Perhaps more significant than the winners, however, was Randy Pippin's catch. Pippin won the Big Fish Competition honors, weighing in a bass that tipped the scales at 11.34 pounds. Organizers said that is the largest bass ever caught during a tournament in the CBA's 36-year history.
The bass world continues to buzz about Chickamauga Lake after anglers won three previous tournaments with weights approaching or exceeding 40 pounds, an almost unheard of accomplishment anywhere in the country. Most of those historic catches have been anchored by Rogne Brown. Saturday, Brown and his partner, Mike Neal, claimed second place with 30.9 pounds.
TWRA biologists were on hand at Saturday's event, collecting tissue samples from bass for DNA analysis. They are monitoring how much influence Florida-strain bass stocking is having on the reservoir. To date in 2013, they’ve collected samples from nearly 40 bass weighing more than 8 pounds. The results won’t be available until late summer, but TWRA fisheries biologist Mike Jolley estimates a majority of the samples collected will show Florida-strain influence.
The current Tennessee state record largemouth—14 pounds, 8 ounces—was caught in 1954.
Now, Jolley says, "I think it’s perceivable that we could see a new state record come from Chickamauga.”
Rounding out the remaining top places in Saturday's CBA event were:
—3rd: Roy Dye and Drew Tompkins, 28.91 pounds, $700
—4th: Jeff Reed and Josh Reed, 27.80 pounds, $600
—5th: Tony Townsend and Galen James, 26.33 pounds, $450
—6th: James Davis and Joey Davis, 26.00 pounds, $400
—7th: Jayme Copenhaver and Adam Dysart, 25.72 pounds, $350
—8th: Mike Varner and Jared McMillon, 25.32 pounds, $300
—9th: Brent Butler and Seth Davis, 25.07 pounds, $250
—10th: Rick Camp and Jamie Hatcher, 24.98 pounds, $200
—11th: Ivan Haag and Jessie Bledsoe, 24.51 pounds, $150
—12th: Greg Lamb and Mark Heatherley, 24.25 pounds, $150
Richard Simms is a contributing writer, focusing on outdoor sports.