In 1986, a then 24 year old Federation angler named Danny Correia nearly pulled off a major upset when he finished second to Charlie Reed in the Bassmaster Classic being held on Chickamauga and Nickajack Lakes near Chattanooga, TN.
On the second day of the event, Danny landed what would become the biggest bass of the event, a 5 pound, 11 ounce bass to improve his total weight and move up to second place in the event, the same spot he would retain on the final day.
According to newspaper reports, “Flipping is what gave Correia the edge over 39 contenders. He had located a dense milfoil bed about an hour’s run at speed’s up to 60 miles per hour down Nickajack. Using the bow mounted electric motor he moved quietly and closely to the thick weed mat dropping the worm through any open spot though these were few and small. Actually Correia fished very close to the boat, mostly within a rod length. The tourney’s biggest bass, at five pounds 11, was hooked within arm’s reach of the boat.”
Twenty years later, in a story for FLW Outdoors, Danny stated, “I was so clueless back then. I literally read about this new technique called `flipping’ in a magazine about two weeks before that Classic. I had never flipped before and didn’t even own a flipping stick. So I ordered a few flipping sticks from Berkley just before the tournament and finished second by basically dunking a Gator-Tail worm with a 3/16-ounce weight on 14-pound-test line along edges of matted grass. But, hey, in my mind I was flipping.”
Danny earned $12,000 for his finish and another $1,000 for the big bass.