Hayes and Hix win Fisherman's Dream tournament

Dave Hix shows off the 8.2-pound bass that claimed 'Big Fish' honors in Saturday's 11th Annual Sportsman's Warehouse Fisherman's Dream Tournament on Chickamauga Lake. (Photo Contributed)

Area anglers Brent Hayes and Dave Hix came home with top honors in Saturday's 11th Annual Sportsman's Warehouse Fisherman's Dream Tournament on Chickamauga Lake.

"Me and Dave had a fun weekend on the water and the Lord blessed us with a win," said Hayes.

Hayes and Hix caught 22.49 pounds for the win, just barely squeaking in about 7 ounces above 2nd place finishers, Keith Miller and Jeff Kirk. Hayes and Hix also took Big Fish honors with an 8.2 pound fish.

Hix hooked the big bass on a wacky rig fished on a spinning rod with 8-pound test line.

"It took about 5 minutes to get it in," said Hayes. "But he stayed calm and worked the fish in. We were pretty excited."

The pair won the top purse of $1,200, plus $350 for overall Big Fish honors. The Fisherman's Dream Tournament (sponsored by Chattanooga's Sportsman's Warehouse), also has hourly Big Fish weigh-ins. Hayes and Hix also won $250 for the hourly prize, for total winnings of $1,800.

Of course the FLW Costa Series bass tournament was also going on out of Dayton, along with a couple of other smaller Saturday bass tournaments. With 46 boats in the Fisherman's Dream Tournament, there were close to 300 tournament bass boats on Chickamauga Lake Saturday.

Hayes said it was work but they tried to avoid the crowd.

"We just kind of bumped around and hit some off-the-wall areas," said Hayes. "It happened to work out well for us."

Hayes said their first two keepers (biggest 5.5 lbs.) came off of a hump on shaky heads. Again, the big fish came on a wacky rig in about ten feet of water on rocks.

"We culled up on a couple of smaller fish later in the day on a Producer Swimbait, said Hayes.

The tournament, organized by former professional angler Brent Brady, is a benefit to raise money for Silverdale Baptist Academy. Brady said the turnout was lower than years past, largely due to competition with other tournaments, including the FLW which normally would have cut so only their top 10 anglers fished Saturday. However FLW fishing was cancelled on Thursday due to predicted high winds, so the full field of 394 FLW anglers was fishing Saturday.

In spite of the lower turnout Brady said, "We probably made about $5,000 for the school."

Top 10 Sportsman's Warehouse Fisherman's Dream Tournament Anglers:

  • 1st - Brent Hayes/Dave Hix, 22.49 pounds
  • 2nd - Keith Miller/Jeff Kirk, 22.03 pounds
  • 3rd - Jayme Copenhauer/Wade Betts, 21.64 pounds
  • 4th - Robert Simpson/Danny Daniels, 18.91 pounds
  • 5th - Chris Thompson/Joe Brown, 18.11 pounds
  • 6th - Jim Cofer/Matt Wendorf, 17.62 pounds
  • 7th - Justin Sneed/Robbie McGill, 17.26 pounds
  • 8th - Cory Nichols/John Oxford, 16.58 pounds
  • 9th - Chris Hight/Derek McCullough, 16.43 pounds
  • 10th - Mike Hyde/Melissa Hyde, 16.26 pounds
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