2013 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #2 Douglas Lake - Dandridge, TN, Apr 4 - 6, 2013

Drying out after Douglas

Dewayne Wilson makes his first cast of the day at Douglas Lake. His lure is an A-Rig.Mark HicksDewayne Wilson makes his first cast of the day at Douglas Lake. His lure is an A-Rig.

When we came to a small rocky point on a pebbly bank, my subconscious shouted “jig.” I wisely listened, put down the A-Rig and cast a jig to the rocks. A bass weighing over 3 pounds engulfed it.

About 70 yards up the same bank, we came to another little rocky point and I nailed bass number two on a jig. I had another jig bite at a similar spot about 30 minutes later. I set the hook and my jig came back without the pork trailer I had tipped the hook with.

The trailer was an Uncle Josh Meat pork frog. Unlike the original Uncle Josh Pork Frog, it doesn’t have the tough rind that can impede hook penetration.

It had been so long since I fished a pork frog on a jig I had forgotten what a terrific action it has. No piece of plastic can duplicate it. Meat chunks also come in a flat plastic bag, so they’re as handy as any plastic bait. I’m definitely ordering more of them.

Those were my only two bass of the day. They weighed 6-6 and landed me in 17th place. Wilson caught two more bass on a jerkbait. We tried several different locations and fished the A-Rig hard, but it let us down.

Day 2 started clear and cold and grew warmer. It was a welcome change. My partner was Christopher Mcreynolds. He knows Douglas well, but caught only two bass on Day 1 because mechanical problems cost him more than half his fishing time. He was out to make amends.

Our first stop was a long flat that had rockpiles 15 feet deep far from shore. Mcreynolds slow rolled an A-Rig deep enough to clip the rocks and occasionally snag in them. I followed his lead. He quickly caught a keeper largemouth and a smallmouth well shy of Douglas Lake’s 20-inch minimum for this species.

We hit several different places that day and fished water as shallow as 2 feet deep. I learned a great deal about the type of places the bass at Douglas frequent, but they weren’t cooperative that day. Mcreynolds caught another bass on the A-Rig and a third on a squarebill crankbait. I caught my only bass of the day on a lipless rattler.

We had about 30 minutes of fishing left when Mcreynolds’ oil alarm went off. Since his boat couldn’t be repaired in time for the second day, he had borrowed a boat from a friend. No one had checked the oil level. The well was dry and there wasn’t any spare oil in the boat.

I waved down the first boat to drive past. It was Avery McCormick of Mobile, Ala., and his co-angler Bobby Snyder of Charlotte, N.C. I’m not surprised that McCormick was from Alabama. Sweet Home grows the nicest people I’ve ever met.