2009 Elite Series - Tennessee Triumph Kentucky Lake - Paris, TN, Jun 3 - 6, 2009

Gimme a "T" for Tennessee

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world. KVD has 4 Bassmaster Classic wins and 7 Angler of the Year titles to his name. 

We just finished two extraordinary tournaments. Both were on Tennessee River impoundments. And that's what I want to talk about today.

The Tennessee River is producing some of the best bass fishing I've ever experienced. At Guntersville the four top anglers caught over 100 pounds of bass in four days. Marty Stone finished 5th. He caught 99 pounds, 5 ounces. Alton Jones finished 12th. He caught 89 pounds plus. How strong is that?

At Kentucky Lake, Bobby Lane weighed in just under 98 pounds to win the event. I finished second — 5 1/2 pounds out — with more than 92 pounds. Fred Roumbanis caught 79-2 and ended up 12th. How strong is that?

But even those numbers don't tell the whole story. A lot of the guys reported culling several limits every day during both of those tournaments. Some of the stories are so fantastic that if they didn't come from guys with solid reputations for telling the truth you'd dismiss them as outright fish stories.

These weights and numbers are not an accident. The Tennessee River is fertile and her impoundments are on fire. Now, some of the guys living on the river's other lakes might disagree with me, but for my money Guntersville and Kentucky Lake are two of the best places to bass fish in our nation.

Kentucky Lake deserves special mention, though. There have been a couple of really good spawns there recently. The bass population is all any angler could hope for. I mean, not only is the lake full of big bass, there's a huge population of smaller ones as well. That means the fishing's only going to get better.

And the ledges! They start along the channel at the dam and run about 75 miles, all the way south of Paris. Some have rock on them, some wood, some shells and some grass. Still others have a combination of two or more of those things. If you can't find a place to catch a fish in that much water you'll never find one.

Kentucky Lake's by far the best ledge fishery in the country. In fact, it's hard to pick a second because it's so far ahead of the others. There's nowhere else that's even close. It's truly in a class by itself.

This kind of fishing is exciting, and not just for us professionals, either. It's exciting for anyone who chases bass with a rod and reel. There are plenty of bass out there just waiting to be caught. Let's do it! And remember, it's all about the attitude.

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