2012 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #2 Lake Norman - Charlotte, NC, Apr 5 - 7, 2012

I’m back

Let me start off by saying thanks to everyone who expressed their support for me and my career after last Wednesday’s post. It’s gratifying to know that I have so many friends and supporters. When you’re down, that means a lot. And let me assure all of you that I’m not going anywhere.

I’ve fished all my life. Like I said last week, other than Tracey, it’s about all I care about. At the same time, though, it gets frustrating to fish hard and not see success at the end of the day. Nevertheless, this is what I do, and it’s what I’ll continue to do so long as I am physically able. I just needed to get some things off my chest. I did. I’m back. (In truth, I never really left.)

I’m on LakeNorman. It’s on fire. This lake is full of bass. They aren’t all that big but they are hungry and biting anything you throw their way. It’s a great day to be out fishing, never a dull moment. This would be a great place to take someone new to our sport, too.

You can catch about all the bass you could hope for with a floating worm. I Texas rig mine, throw it up against the bank and twitch it back towards the boat real fast. The bass appear out of nowhere. You’ll be watching your worm and all of a sudden there’s a bass under it. It’s like that Start Trek transporter that moved the Enterprise crew from their ship to the planet below them.

The best way to fish a worm like that is to rig it on a medium-action spinning outfit. I spool my reel with fairly light Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid and a short fluorocarbon leader. You can throw that little weightless bait a mile on a rig like that and never have problems getting them to the boat or with line twist.

It’s funny, you know. With all the fancy, high-tech lures we have available, a simple plastic worm that looks like a nightcrawler — I throw a Venom Lures Trickster — is all you really need, at least at this time of the year. That says something about what we do. Maybe some of us overthink this business of fishing?

I’m not saying that fishing a floating worm’s the way to win a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open tournament. The fish won’t be quite big enough for that. A lot of the anglers launching tomorrow morning will know how to fish this lake. But if you want to have a ball fishing, or take a kid out for a good time, take a close look at what’s going on down here.

I have to go now. It’s Wednesday morning and I’m running out of practice time. Most of the fish are scattered but a few are still on the beds. I’d like to find one or two of the bigger ones in the back of this marina before we have to come in for the day. Wish me luck!

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