John Cox Wins FLW Tour At Lake Chickamauga

Monday, May 6, 2019
- photo by Kyle Wood
Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, won $100,000 at the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude Sunday with a four-day total of 83 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory was the fourth FLW Tour win of Mr. Cox’s career – moving him to a tie at No. 7 for the most Tour wins all-time.

Mr. Cox brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to clinch the victory by a 1-pound, 11-ounce margin over local favorite Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, who brought 20 bass weighing 81-14 to the scale and earned $30,100.
Tour rookie Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan, who led the tournament coming into the final day, caught a four-day total of 80-5 to finish third and win $25,000.

“I can’t believe that I won,” said Mr. Cox, who also took over the points lead in the ultra-competitive Angler of the Year (AOY) race with just one event left in the regular season. “It was so tough today. I ran all over this place and had a decent limit, but not what I needed. I was bouncing around, then right before I had to check in I remembered a stretch of trees that I hadn’t checked.

“It was the last minute, and I really don’t know why it just popped in my head, but it did – go to the trees,” Mr. Cox continued. “It was weird because I had forgotten all about this area. When I pulled up and Power-Poled down, I knew before I even threw in there.”

With less than 10 minutes before he had to check-in, Mr. Cox boated a pair of 4-pounders from the trees and raced back to the Dayton Boat Dock.

“When I caught the two in the last 10 minutes, I got all worked up,” Mr. Cox said. “I was running back, and I just felt something. Tears were coming down. It was overwhelming – I don’t know. I’ve won tournaments before, but I’ve never felt anything like it before. I’m getting chills right now just talking about it. This one was different.”

Mr. Cox said he used two main baits throughout the week. He threw a Texas-rigged 6-inch Baby Bass-colored Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General while sight fishing and a white ½-ounce Dirty Jigs jig with a white Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk Trailer to cover water.

“The jig setup really came into play when the rain came in,” Mr. Cox said. “It was something that I could cover a lot of water with. I really thought the jig was going to be deal today, but I had to completely change gears at the end of the day and go back to the worm.”

With just one tournament remaining in the regular season, Mr. Cox now shifts his focus to Lake Champlain in upstate New York. He holds just a slim 1-point lead in the AOY race over Polaris pro David Dudley – a three-time AOY winner who already has an FLW Tour win on Lake Champlain on his resume.

“My two favorite lakes are Lake Chickamauga and Lake Champlain, and to finish the season on those two fisheries is great,” Mr. Cox went on to say. “I’ve been going to Lake Champlain since I was 20, and I really want to win there. But, I really, really want to win the AOY title. That would be awesome.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Chickamauga finished:                                                                                                            

1st:          Berkley pro John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 20 bass, 83-9, $102,700
2nd:         Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 20 bass, 81-14, $30,100
3rd:          Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 20 bass, 80-5, $25,000
4th:          Yamamoto Baits pro Matt Greenblatt, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 20 bass, 80-0, $20,000
5th:          Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 20 bass, 78-9, $19,000
6th:          Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 20 bass, 76-7, $18,000
7th:          Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 20 bass, 74-12, $17,000
8th:          Strike King pro Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 20 bass, 74-12, $16,000
9th:          David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 20 bass, 69-9, $15,000
10th:        Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 20 bass, 66-10, $14,000

Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.

Overall there were 50 bass weighing 172 pounds, 10 ounces caught by pros Sunday. All 10 of the final-day pros brought a five-bass limit to the scale.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude will premiere in 2019. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude was more than $860,000. The tournament was hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic Tourism Council. The next event for FLW Tour anglers will be the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain presented by T-H Marine in Plattsburgh, New York, June 27-30. The tournament will be hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.

In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 165 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to fish on Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continued competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park Seeks Volunteers For Annual National Public Lands Day

5,400 Acres Of Cumberland Plateau Habitat To Be Restored

Hamilton County Parks And Recreation Master Plan Findings Presentation Is Thursday


Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, Sept. 28 taking part in National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. This year’s activities ... (click for more)

Through an awarded grant, more than 5,400 acres of shortleaf pine forests on the Cumberland Plateau will be restored and enhanced. A collaboration among several organizations will use prescribed ... (click for more)

GreenPlay, LLC will present a summary of initial findings from the public involvement, standards, inventory, and needs assessment for the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park Seeks Volunteers For Annual National Public Lands Day

Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, Sept. 28 taking part in National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. This year’s activities at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will focus on removing vegetation around the area of historic Camp Demaray. The park asks that participants meet at 8:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

5,400 Acres Of Cumberland Plateau Habitat To Be Restored

Through an awarded grant, more than 5,400 acres of shortleaf pine forests on the Cumberland Plateau will be restored and enhanced. A collaboration among several organizations will use prescribed fire and strategic plantings to revitalize this vanishing habitat that is critical to several species, said officials. The project will be implemented by The Forest Stewards Guild and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Thurman Says Administration Should Have Vetted "White Privilege" Presentation; Jones Says Talk Was "About The Life We Live"

County School Board member Rhonda Thurman said the county school administration should have vetted a recent controversial presentation on "white privilege" at a teacher in-service training. However, board member Karitsa Mosley Jones said there was nothing wrong with the program by an outside speaker. She said, "That's the life we live. It's the life our students live. It's the ... (click for more)

Man, 44, Stabbed To Death On East Main Street

Chattanooga Police said a 44-year-old man died after being stabbed in the 1200 block of East Main Street around midnight Thursday. Upon arrival, officers located a man suffering from a stab wound. Hamilton County EMS responded and transported the victim to a local hospital. Officers secured the scene and called for the Violent Crimes Bureau to respond. Investigators ... (click for more)

Opinion

Good Sports Bar News

Just had dinner Tuesday night at Jonathan's Grille location in Hendersonville, Tn. When in Murfreesboro or Nashville, it's one of my favs. Just a great sports bar concept and menu. So happy to hear the Revelette brothers are bringing their brand (and their pizza night) to the old 212 Market location in downtown Chattanooga. Bring it on! Garry Mac (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

As I stood in the checkout line of the Walmart in Tiftonia this week, my newest friend named Harold asked me, “What’s the difference between an outlaw and an in-law. As I searched my mind Hold responded, “Outlaws are wanted!” I immediately accepted his joke as a good omen. It helps me to remind readers of The Saturday Funnies, I just collect them during the week and pass them ... (click for more)