Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

City of Winnfield Police Department

Name: Alton C. Williamson
Date: 5-10-2021
Address: Georgetown, LA
Race: White
Gender: Male
Age: 60
Charge: Aggravated Burglary, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of Certain Felonies

Name: Corey Lamone Okel Williams
Date: 5-13-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Charge: Speeding, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Simple Criminal Damage to Property > $500.00, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, Possession of Firearms with Obliterated Number, Illegal Carrying of Weapons, Resisting an Officer by Flight, Driving Under Suspension, Switched License Plates, Vehicle License Required, Prohibited Acts, Produce, Manufacture, Distribute, Possession (x3), Warrant for Simple Burglary

Name: Sharon White
Date: 5-16-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Age: 37
Charge: Criminal Mischief


Window to Winn – How’s Your Winn Parish Newspaper Knowledge?

Longtime Winn Parish Enterprise Editor Bob Holeman handed out the following 19-question quiz on the history of early newspapers in Winn Parish at the Rotary Club of Winnfield Meeting last week. 

See how you do! Post your score in the comments.

We will post the answers to the quiz next Monday. 5 points for each correct answer

 

How’s Your Winn Parish Newspaper Knowledge?

 

  1. In 1852 the Louisiana Legislature created Winn Parish from portions of Natchitoches, Catahoula, and Rapides parishes. (We’d later lose significant acreage when Grant Parish was carved out of Winn and Rapides parishes in 1869).  In what year did the first local newspaper come on the Winn scene?  (5 points for the year, subtract 1 for each year off.  No negative scores)

 

  1. Name that paper and its town of publication. (5 points for the town.  5 points for publication)

 

  1. Winn became a two-paper parish later that same year. That paper ran intermittently through its early years, through the Civil War and through various owners until 1906.  What was it?

 

  1. The building housing that second newspaper burned down in 1901 and had to print in Mississippi for a time. Its competitor jabbed, “from a look at your paper with three pages of printed matter and one page as blank as an idiot’s face, you had better have your paper printed in Vicksburg.”  Can you name the competitor?

 

  1. The Winn Parish Democrat was founded in 1887 with O.M. Bevill as part owner. In 1890, Hardy L. Brian purchased the paper with the purpose of shifting the political slant to the hot Populist cause.  He changed the name but unfortunately could not get delivery of type large enough to print the new masthead in time for his first edition.  So he scrambled with the existing letters found in the name “Democrat” to come up with a suitable name.  What was it?
  2. Another town (apart from Winnfield) had a newspaper. What was it called?  (5 points for town, 5 points for publication)

 

  1. Several other papers were published in those early years, including the Excelsior and the Guardian. Do you suppose these came out (a) daily (b) weekly (c) monthly or (d) annually?

 

  1. Around 1920, the competitive, renamed paper was renamed again (due to the stigma of Communists using that same name) and it became The Winnfield Times to be sold to H. Clay Riser. Shortly after, the paper was destroyed by fire.  Riser sold the Times to N.C. Dalton in 1921.  Under the new ownership, the paper was said to be a “fiery rag dedicated to the thoughts of such organizations as the KKK.”  The new owner renamed the renamed renamed paper to something resembling a Beatles’ tune.  What was that name?

 

  1. That paper was bought by Miss Estelle Tannehill in 1924 who (surprise!) renamed the oft-renamed paper as the Winnfield News-American. After 22 years of reliable news coverage, she sold the News-American in 1946 to her brother Jack and another partner.  Who was he?

 

  1. Also in 1924, a group of 30 businessmen gathered finances to operate the Winn Parish Enterprise with Clay Riser and his wife conducting the new paper. The office was in the corner of the old Winnfield Hotel on Main Street.  When Riser died in 1937, his wife and two daughters continued operation of the Enterprise.  Name the daughters.  (5 points each)

 

  1. Huey P. Long established a paper in 1930 to espouse his Populist views including his Share the Wealth program. After his death in 1935, the name was tweaked and it ran until 1940, first under the ownership of Richard Leche then by Earl K. Long.  Name those papers.  (5 points each)

 

  1. One of the Riser daughters remained single and a driving force behind the Enterprise. The other married an “out-of-state” man who became managing editor of the paper.  Who was he?

 

  1. A niece of the Riser family, Ann Love (once a Kilgore Rangerette), married Chester Derr, a Houston-born WWII pilot who logged 2,000 hours of flight time. Chester sold advertising for the Enterprise.  Later on, the Derrs started up their own business.  What was it?

 

  1. In 1952, the Risers purchased the News-American and merged the two papers. In 1953 the entire operation was sold to Oklahoma publisher Harry Kates.  Then 18 months later, not happy with the paper’s direction and knowing the elder Riser sister, can you speculate what happened?

 

  1. In 1978 the Enterprise was bought by another paper in the first of a series of acquisitions that would grow into a newspaper group mostly in northwest Louisiana. What is that paper?

 

  1. Who were the first two Journalism School-trained publishers of the Enterprise under this new ownership? (5 points each)

 

  1. The Enterprise, now located at 500 East Main Street, celebrated its 75th anniversary at an earlier site. The relocation was required due to the city’s 5-lane expansion.  Where was it?

 

  1. The Enterprise at its current Main Street locale occupies the former footprint of one of Winnfield’s prominent businesses. Can you say what that was?

 

  1. While newspapers today are put together via computer, the actual production is still a physical operation. Offset printing presses use thin aluminum plates with a photochemical process but in the past, the process was called “Hot Type.” The process used molten lead to form raised letters (like your old rubber handstamps).  One machine used in this process, like a giant typewriter, if you will, dropped down reverse brass slugs as you typed to create column galleys over which lead was poured to create metal plates then mounted to the press cylinders.  This machine, a historic relic today, is called  (a) daguerreotype  (b) linotype  (c)  stereotype  (d) ferrotype

Substitute School Bus Driver Positions Available at Winn Parish School Board

The Winn Parish School Board has IMMEDIATE  opportunities for substitute school bus drivers.

Requirements: Class A or B CDL with Passenger, School Bus, and Air Brakes endorsements (obtained through OMV)

Winn Parish will host a 30-hour pre-service training for school bus drivers at the Winn Parish School Board Office June 21-23. This course is one of the requirements for becoming a licensed/certified school bus driver. Anyone interested in applying for a position as a substitute, activity, or regular route driver must have this training. The course will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. each day.

For more information or to register please contact:
Al Simmons
asimmons@winnpsb.org
OR
Marianne Little
mlittle@winnpsb.org

Winn Parish School Board
304 E. Court
Winnfield, LA 71483
318 628 6936

Winn Parish School Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Notice of Death May 16, 2021

WINN:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Charles R. Rushing
May 14, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 22 at 2 pmat the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Demika Daniels
January 17, 1982 – May 15, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Earnestine Durahm
May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Dan P. Roberson
May 12, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 22 at 11 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North St. in Natchitoches

Margaret Carter Cooper
November 2, 1961 – May 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Brenda Gail Rachal Knight
December 01, 1963 – May 08, 2021
Service: Tuesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Christian Worship Center, located at 1513 Hwy. 494 in Natchitoches

Willie Carr
May 23, 1945 – May 07, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches


Winnfield Police Make Huge Narcotics Arrest

On Thursday, May 13, Winnfield Police Officer Cassidy Martin attempted to stop a vehicle on Maple Street for excessive speed when the driver instead sped up and tried to flee from the officer. During the chase, in addition to excessive speeds in a residential neighborhood, several other traffic violations were committed by the suspect. The suspect eventually wrecked his vehicle on E. Boundary Street and ran from the officer, dropping bags of illegal drugs and a handgun as he did.
 
Winnfield Police Officers, assisted by the Winn Marshal and the Louisiana State Police, were able to apprehend the suspect at a nearby residence. Officers recovered two semi-automatic pistols, 914 grams of Marijuana, 879 grams of Synthetic Marijuana, numerous pills of different colors and shapes determined to be methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), commonly called Ecstasy.
 
Corey Williams, age 22, of Winnfield, has been charged with the following crimes: Speeding 55 mph in a 25 mph zone, Reckless Driving, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Driving Under Suspension, Failure to Register Vehicle, Switched License Plates, Resisting an Officer, Criminal Damage to Property (2 counts), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Schedule I with Intent to Distribute (3 counts), Possession of a Firearm by Persons Convicted of Certain Felonies, and Illegal Carrying of a Firearm. He was booked into the City Jail then transferred to the Winn Parish Detention Center awaiting hearings.


Emergency Lane Closure US 84 East in Winn Parish

Emergency LANE Closure Only – US 84 East, 0.25 miles from its US 167 West junction in Winnfield, Winn Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, (LADOTD), advises the public effective immediately a section of US 84 East, 0.25 miles from its US 167 West intersection, in Winnfield, Winn Parish, is temporarily closed for emergency repairs to the road. This is expected to be a ONE day LANE closure. Flaggers will be used for alternating lane traffic.

Safety Reminder
All construction activity is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD appreciates the motoring public’s patience and reminds drivers to please exercise caution when traveling through work zone areas and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org. Additionally, you can follow the Traffic Management Center on Twitter: (@Alex Traffic). Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website @ www.dotd.la.gov and the DOTD Facebook page.


Grand Ecore Bridge Closure May 15-16

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that on Saturday, May 15, 2021 and Sunday, May 16, 2021, the Grand Ecore Bridge over the Red River on LA 6 in Natchitoches Parish will be closed.

This closure is scheduled to take place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day and is necessary to allow for a topographical survey to be conducted.

This bridge is located 2.3 miles north of the LA 6 at LA 6 Business (Washington Street) intersection north of the Natchitoches city limits.

Alternate route: There will be no marked detour. Alternative Red River crossings are located at Coushatta to the north of Natchitoches and Boyce to the south of Natchitoches. Motorists are advised to plan their trips accordingly.

Restrictions/Permits: Total bridge closure. All vehicles must detour.

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.

Safety reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.

Additional information:

Visit http://www.511la.org or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website at wwwsp.dotd.la.gov, by selecting MyDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.


Rotary Club of Winnfield 5K Run/Walk Partners with Winn Parish Healthy Initiatives Coalition for “Winn in Action” Tomorrow

Rotary Club of Winnfield is hosting a 5K Run/Walk on May 15, 2021, in downtown Winnfield across from the post office at 201 Bevill St. 

Registration will begin at 8:00 AM and the start gun will sound off at 9:00 AM. 

Registration at the event is $30.00 per person. 

Contact Jodi Taylor at 832-573-5085 or jodidawnt@gmail.com to find out about team discounts.

Download Registration Forms below. Completed registration forms may be emailed to Jodi Taylor at jodidawnt@gmail.com or Samantha Kelly at samantha@keithgateslaw.com

You may also drop off your registration form and money at the Gates Law Firm / Winnfield City Court, 200 N. Church Street, Winnfield, Louisiana.

Pick-up Registration forms at one of the following locations:

Gates Law Firm

Mayor’s office

T&L Vinyl

Sunshine Cleaners

The Rotary Club of Winnfield has served Winn Parish since it was chartered in 1927.  The Rotary motto “Service Above Self” embodies what our club members strive to be, a thoughtful and helpful person in all one’s endeavors. We, as Rotarians, undertake activities to improve the quality of life in our community. Our service projects frequently involve assistance to youth, the aged, handicapped and others who look to Rotary as a source of hope for a better life. Just a few of the services we provide and projects we are involved in are:

  • Annual college Scholarships $6,000 (award four $1,500 scholarships to graduating seniors)
  • School Uniform Program (provide school uniforms to +/- 70 income challenged students)
  • Annual Rotary Dictionary Project (give a free dictionary to every 3rd-grade student in Winn Parish)
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp sponsorships for 3 High School Students
  • Annual Hot Dog cookout for youth baseball
  • Support efforts to boost local adult literacy program (support and tutor local adult literacy)
  • Support local Dyslexia education programs
  • Members volunteer at Winn Food Pantry

The Winn Parish Healthy Initiatives Coalition will also be on-site from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM hosting their “Winn in Action” event.

  • Bring your unused or unwanted medications to be destroyed on-site
  • COVID 19 Vaccines information available on site
  • Health and Resource information

Please contact Kim Nation @ 318/729-6756 for more information.


State House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill – How Did Winn Parish State Reps Vote?

On Tuesday the Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill proposing to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana by a vote of 67-25. Winn Parish House Representative Jack McFarland, Republican, District 13 voted in favor of the Bill and Winn Parish House of Representative Gabe Firment, Republican, District 22 voted against the Bill.

Shreveport Republican Rep. Alan Seabaugh, one of the chamber’s most conservative members, reportedly joined Democrats in asking lawmakers to support the bill. Baton Rouge Rep. Denise Marcelle, Democrat, reportedly also stood with Glover to support the proposal. If House Bill 652 authored by state Rep. Cedric B. Glover (D-Shreveport) passes in the Senate it would make possessing marijuana a misdemeanor crime taking away the possibility of jail time and reducing the maximum penalty to a $100 fine for possession of 14 grams or less. Offenders would be issued a summons instead of an arrest.

“I think it’s a fairly good compromise,” Seabaugh said.

“We don’t need to be filling up our jails with misdemeanor offenses of marijuana,” Marcelle said.

The current Louisiana Law states people can face up to $300 or 15 days in jail for the first conviction of possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. Beyond that, the penalties increase considerably, to a potential jail sentence of six months on the second conviction, two years on the third conviction and eight years on the fourth conviction.

Glover’s proposal represents one of many bills dealing with marijuana laws in Louisiana during the legislative session that ends June 10th. Another measure, by Rep. Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville, would legalize marijuana entirely, allowing licensed businesses to sell the drug to people 21 and older.

While Nelson’s bill has drawn heated opposition from law enforcement, Glover’s decriminalization bill has not. The influential Louisiana Sheriffs Association didn’t take a position on HB652.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, with varying fines.

Louisiana was one of several states where arrests for pot increased from 2010 to 2018, according to a report last year by the American Civil Liberties Union. Blacks were more than three times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, and arrests for marijuana made up 51% of all drug arrests in the state that year.

Voting to decriminalize possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana (67): Speaker Schexnayder, Reps Adams, Bacala, Bagley, Bourriaque, Brass, Brown, Bryant, Butler, Carpenter, W. Carter, Cormier, Coussan, Cox, Deshotel, DeVillier, DuBuisson, Duplessis, Echols, Emerson, Farnum, Freeman, Freiberg, Frieman, Gaines, Geymann, Glover, Goudeau, Green, Harris, Hilferty, Hollis, Hughes, Huval, Jefferson, Jenkins, T. Johnson, Jones, Jordan, LaCombe, Landry, Larvadain, Lyons, Marcelle, Marino, McCormick, McFarland, McMahen, D. Miller, G. Miller, Muscarello, Nelson, Newell, Orgeron, R. Owen, Pierre, Romero, Schlegel, Seabaugh, Selders, Stagni, Stefanski, Turner, Villio, White, Willard and Wright.

Voting Against HB652 (25): Reps. Amedee, Carrier, R. Carter, Crews, Edmonds, Edmonston, Firment, Fontenot, Gadberry, Garofalo, Horton, Illg, Ivey, M. Johnson, Kerner, Mack, Miguez, Mincey, C. Owen, Riser, Schamerhorn, Tarver, Thomas, Thompson and Wheat.

Not Voting (13): Reps Beaullieu, Bishop, G. Carter, Davis, Hodges, James, Magee, McKnight, Moore, Phelps, Pressly, St. Blanc, and Zeringue.


Download Now: GoNatchitoches App

The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) and its partners kickoff Spring and Summer celebrations and encourage residents and visitors to download the GoNatchitoches app. The app serves as your one-stop-shop trip planner and a community calendar that serves as an interactive way to map out everything visitors and residents want to see and do in Natchitoches.

The GoNatchitoches app provides a new way to explore what Natchitoches offers, including upcoming events, popular attractions, restaurants, tours, lodging, shops, landmarks, and much more. Users can view it all at once or search by categories like Attractions, Dining, Arts & Culture, Lodging, and many others.

See a festival you don’t want to miss? Click “Add,” and the event will be added to your plan, and you’ll be sent a reminder.

That restaurant everyone keeps telling you about? Click “Add,” and you won’t forget to try it.

Want to invite some friends? Share your plan with them via social media, email, or SMS text message.

Need a reminder for upcoming events? Turn on the push notifications for the app!

No need to waste time or another sheet of paper. With this planner, GoNatchitoches can help you get organized and maximize your time so that you can have more fun in Natchitoches.

Already on your way to Natchitoches or live here? Download the app for your iPhone or Android and take your plan with you! Just type “GoNatchitoches” in the search box of your app store.

The “GoNatchitoches” project is a coalition between the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the City of Natchitoches, Cane River National Heritage Area, Northwestern State University, the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission, the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association, the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce, and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQAadYlDPok


Be Still and Know…..

May is all about moms and I am very blessed to share Stephanie McKinney’s story with you this week. She is teacher in Natchitoches Parish who cherishes the fact that she can use her past hurts and life lessons to assist parents and students as they go through the same things that God has delivered her from. These are Stephanie’s words…..

Beyonce praises it but it is very challenging to go from a, what you thought, happy family of four to a single mom raising two boys ages 13 and 8.

When I was married, I worked as a Teacher’s Aide in my hometown in Texas. I brought home about $800 a month. It was fine when I was married because he had a good job. I just worked to pay a few bills and then had some fun money leftover. After the divorce, I was broke. I had a house note, all the bills, and two sons to raise. I received a little child support. And my parents helped when needed but they couldn’t do much financially.

But guess what?

Every month my bills were paid, we never did without meals, and I had a little left over so we could continue to do occasional fun things. Every single month. I worried how I was going to make it happen? How can I pay my bills not to lose my home? I had so many worries and fears but God always provided. I vividly remember, I was down to my last few dollars and my monthly paycheck was still a week away. Thankfully, every bill was paid that month but I still needed gas money and one of the boys needed something for school. I could either get a few dollars in gas or give the money to my son. I chose my son. I always chose my sons.

I would have enough to get back and forth to work but we couldn’t go anywhere else. When I opened my wallet to give him the money, tucked behind my few one dollar bills there was a twenty dollar bill. He knew what I needed and He provided it for me. I swear it wasn’t there before. I cried thankful tears for hours

A year after the divorce, I decided to go to school for my teaching degree. I had an amazing group of teachers and administrators helping me and encouraging me. Every time I thought I couldn’t make it, one of them would step in, without even knowing it was needed, and encourage me to keep pushing.

My entire college education was provided by grants and it would have been impossible otherwise.

It took me longer than the average person because I had to work while raising two kids alone. But, with God, I made it. My whole reason for wanting to be a teacher is because my oldest son has a learning disability. In third grade he was considered a bad kid. Talking and disruptive, the whole nine yards. He’s actually a great human, but the teachers only saw the bad. In fourth grade, he had amazing teachers who knew right away that he didn’t have ADHD, he had a reading comprehension problem. They helped guide us through what accommodations he needed and it helped tremendously.

I remember crying in the meetings thinking that I somehow let my baby down. They assured me that I hadn’t and that we would all get through it together. And we did. I learned many things I could demand for him. I learned to push him when he needed it but mostly, I learned to stand up for his rights. It took a year but he got on the right track.

God laid it on my heart to get my degree so I could help other mom’s get through that.

I wanted to be there to hug them when they are scared when educators are telling them, “Something isn’t right with your child.” I can say, ”I honestly know how you feel. I promise, we will get through this.” Even though the chips were stacked against me, God knew what He had called me to do and He provided the path for that to happen. Next year, I will be doing SBLC full time on my campus, and I truly believe this was my calling from the beginning.

Divorce is hard. Being a single mother is hard. I would honestly do it all over again. I’ve learned so much about myself.I have wonderful memories of just me and my boys all piled into my full size bed for the first few months after he was gone because we all wanted to be close to each other. Memories of special times, birthdays, holidays, and just regular days. My sons and I have a very close bond that is unbreakable. It is because of what we went through together and what they saw me go through alone. With God’s help, I picked myself up, and pushed on because not doing so would have negatively impacted their lives and they deserve better than that. God made sure the three of us came out of top.

If I had to give advice to women going through a divorce or separation, it would be this: It’s hard. There are times you want to scream, cry and be angry. Keep your dignity and your pride. Hold your head up. You’re walking through darkness right now and it might seem like you’ll never come out of it, but I promise you will. And the other side is so much better than your past life. Just keep moving, reach out for help when needed, pray, and always remember, you not only have God but you also have a lot of people who support you that He has placed along your path. They are there for a reason. And if you don’t have anyone like that, I’ll be happy to hold your hand until the sun is shining on you again.

One verse that held true during that time was this, “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Because I never once, did I want.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” – Psalm 23:1

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10


Angler’s Perspective – Wrapping Up a National Championship

In April, I fished the American Bass Anglers Ray Scott National Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee. This is a four-day event you have to qualify for by finishing in the top ten overall in your division. There are divisions all over the United States especially the Eastern half of the country from Texas up to Minnesota over to Maine and down to Florida. For me, this makes my fifth Ray Scott Championship that I have qualified for in the last 6 years.

Covid 19 has had a big impact on this event the last two years and all the protocol that goes with it. Don’t get me wrong, ABA (American Bass Anglers) does a great job with organizing this event. We no longer have a pre-tournament banquet to honor the Anglers of the Year and we don’t have the great door prizes anymore; something the anglers really miss.  The night before the event we do a personal check-in and pick up some free products, caps and t-shirts. We still have a meal but it’s in a to-go box and this year we had beef nachos. If there’s one thing anglers can do, it’s eat! This is also when you have to be on guard for fishing information designed to throw an angler off his game. We call this ‘dock talk” and its people who like to talk to hear themselves. While none of us are fishing for a living, we are fishing for thousands of dollars and a new loaded 20-foot Triton boat and the one and only opportunity for one of us to be a true national champion.

Day one was not what I expected as I only weighed two fish for 5.21 lbs. Now even though I felt good about what I thought I could catch, the first thing I noticed as I arrived at my starting spot, was how the water level had dropped. From the time I arrived at Chickamauga on Sunday, the lake was 3 feet low and continued to fall each day. But I was able to find fish in two areas on the northern end of the lake. One was a creek that held some good quality fish, and the other was a spawning flat with fish on beds. As I have said before, tournament fishing is a game of decisions and if you choose wrong, you will take yourself out of the competition. This is exactly what I did by choosing to fish the northern end of the lake instead of the south. Now I did pre-fish on the south end with some success but, it was very crowded as there was not a fifty-yard stretch that did not have a boat on it. I don’t fish well in crowds, and it was at this point (day 2 of practice) that I decided to fish north. I really felt good about this decision especially after my day 3 practice with the fish I found. One thing you have to understand about river systems like Chickamauga, the water closest to the dam (south end) remains more stable than the water level up the lake. So, while the south end remained more stable with little effect on the fishing, the northern end had a constant drop in water level every day which pulled the fish out of the areas I had, or they were so shallow I could not even get to them by day two of the tournament. These are not excuses but just the facts as to how all the anglers that committed to going up the lake, struggled to weigh not just quality but even a five fish limit.

I still had a great time on this trip and like my previous five Ray Scott National Championship events, it was a huge success. ABA Tournament Director Chris Wayand does an outstanding job running this tournament and I encourage anyone who wants to fish a really good circuit, jump on board with the ABA Open Series or fish the new ABA Top 150 Solo Tour. By writing these articles, I hope you learn from my mistakes. The one great thing about any sport is that once that event is over (win or lose) you have the opportunity to redeem yourself and get better. Even at 60 years of age and all my experience as an angler, I’m still learning. Remember, it is through failure that we become better. Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live