2014 Dick Cepek Tires Bassmaster Elite at Lake Seminole presented by Hardee's
Lake Seminole - Bainbridge, GA, Mar 13 - 16, 2014

Bass on a brim pole

Brad Reynolds, Deborah Harrell & Mike Harrell

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“With your heart in your hands…”

Dateline:  Across The River

There is a not well known, elemental rule of physics floating around out there in the universe,

had Einstein fished, you’d be aware of this,


which happens to be a flat out, undeniable, universal law.


A stands for: Angler

M stands for: Minnow Tank

L stands for:  Lies…doubled.

In laymen, non physics terms it means this:  If an angler is standing within sight of a minnow bait tank and that angler is talking,

he is lying,

and doing it more than once.

You can replicate this universal law in any bait shop in America,


ask just ask the dude who owns the bait shop.

“db, there are more big bass caught right inside this shop than is ever caught out there in Lake Seminole.”  Mike Harrell, co-owner dude of the small Mom and Pop (or Mom and Dad as Mike called it) West Side Bait & Tackle in Bainbridge, Georgia.

All six of the customers standing around listening, shook their heads,


On the other side of the river from the Elite shindig going on is a small, white concrete building that sits back aways from the highway.

If you have your ipod on high, or your foot is a bit heavy, you’ll miss the joint.

Sign says, “Bait & Tackle,” but trust me, that doesn’t even come close to explaining what goes on inside the tiny store.

“I come in here everyday for an hour…”

Bunch of coughs suddenly occur.

“…okay, maybe an hour and a half, because we like family here, you know everyone who comes in for coffee in the morning, we talk about family, we talk about fishing.”  Donald Culverson a local Bass angler who hits the water fishing 3 times a week.

Just some of the regulars.Just some of the regulars.

There is another, little known, universal law, it’s a simple law, but it will ALWAYS help you if you want to find out just how big of an angler some dude is, lots of guys brag fishing, but are suspect, so here is a universal law that, quite frankly, I developed as an investigative journalist now known to do interviews within sight of a minnow tank.  Here’s how it goes:

“Donald, what’s the biggest Bass you have ever caught weighed.”

“10 pounds 2 ounces,” said almost instantly.

“Hmmm, nice, hey do you have any kids.”

“Yep, 2, two girls.”

“Hmmm, how much did they weigh when they were born.”

“Ahhh, um…”

And right there, you know you are talking to a real angler.

“…and the sweat on your brow…”

“My mother actually bought the store in 1972, she owned and ran it until she had a stroke in 2005.  The place got shut down after that.”

I’m sitting in a small room that Mike’s mother used to use as a bedroom, it’s now used for storage, but over in the corner I can see a refrigerator and electric stove, another corner holds a couch, a nice lamp sits on a shelf.

“I was born and raised around here, worked this store all my life when mom owned it, but, but, I used to be a Plant Superintendent, you know, but…”

…but after several decades of working for the company, “the company laid me off, I’m still young, I’m 57, still have lots of good years left in me, can still contribute, but one day, one day, well you know…”