2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro
Lake Guntersville - Birmingham, AL, Feb 21 - 23, 2014

Better than when it was cold

About the author

Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Chris Lane is a six-time winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail and the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Yesterday, after practice, a fellow asked me how things went. I told him it was better than when it was cold. 

The lake is warming — the water was 45-46 degrees this morning when we launched — but it isn’t warming nearly as fast as most of us expected. Part of the reason for that was that yesterday was overcast with very little sun. Water doesn’t warm much under those conditions.

Another thing that’s messing with the water temperature is the wind. It’s blowing at an angle that’s actually pushing cold water into the coves and cuts that were warming before. That doesn’t help a thing if you’re a fish looking for a place to spawn, or if you’re an angler looking to catch a fish that’s looking to spawn.

The grass is another matter. Those of you who don’t live around here might not know how nasty this winter has been. It was cold with snow and rain. Parts of the lake actually froze. That killed the grass. It’s really hard to find stuff that’s still green and healthy.

I’ll tell you what, though, if you do find some of it you will find the bass. They are in the green grass. (That statement is for the fans. I’m not letting any big secret out of the bag. I guarantee you that most of the other guys have figured that out.)

Another subject I want to address candidly is this so-called home field advantage. I’ve answered the question before but I want to make sure my thoughts are clear and that there is no misunderstanding.

When it comes to fishing Lake Guntersville there is no such thing. I don’t know any more about the lake than a lot of the other guys fishing this year’s Classic. In fact, I know less than some of them. Every angler who qualified knows how to fish, they’ve all done their homework and most of them have years of experience on the lake.

Where there is an advantage is in the fact that I’m in my own home with my family. That helps in a couple of ways, I think.

First, it allows me to keep on something approaching a normal routine. I’m handling my boat pretty much like I always do and I’m coming home to my family like I always do when I’m not on the road. I eat breakfast and supper at my kitchen table and the food is like always — great. Holly can cook. 

An even bigger advantage is that I’m sleeping in my own bed. No matter how nice the motel, hotel, house, condo or camper’s accommodations might be they’re not your own bed. That’s especially true when it comes to your pillow. Your pillow is your friend. No one wants to go to bed without their friend. They just don’t.

All that said, I have to say that I have no more of a home field advantage than a lot of the other guys. Anyone who lives in this area of our country could write something that would sound different from what I just said, but really it would say the same thing. We’re all professionals. This is what we do.

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on www.twitter.com/ChrisLaneFish and www.facebook.com/chrislanefishing or visit his website, www.chrislanefishing.com

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