Several years ago I fished a tournament out of Guntersville. Holly traveled with me in those days. We were both really impressed with what we saw. We both said that if we ever got to the place where we could live anywhere we wanted we’d check it out more carefully.
When that day arrived, we realized our lives had changed but not our love for Guntersville. The kids were getting older. Traveling and living in a camper wasn’t what it once was. We needed a permanent house for the kids where they went to the same school every day and had the same friends for a long while. Guntersville was just the place.
I tell you that because it’s important for everyone to understand that we are more than professional bass anglers. We’re husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and in-laws. Fishing at the Elite Series level takes every ounce of concentration a man can muster. Let your guard down for even a few minutes and you’re done.
It’s impossible to concentrate like that if you’re worried about your family. I have to know that everything is fine at home or I can’t give my full attention to the fish. (I call home every morning at daylight just to be sure.) Guntersville did that. I couldn’t be happier with the move, and neither could Holly and the kids.
I knew the lake would help my fishing, too. As much as I like Florida, and despite all the benefits it gave me, I knew it had its limitations. If you’re going to fish at the very top, you have to do more than read grass in shallow water. Guntersville has given me that opportunity.
For starters, it’s massive — about 70,000 acres. That means that despite the crushing pressure it receives from bass anglers there’s always somewhere to get away and fish. You can fish the upper half which is basically a river type system, or you can fish the lower half which is basically a lake system.
The upper half is not as wide as the lower half and usually has some current in it. And there are several creeks that enter the lake up there. It’s a great place to learn to fish that kind of water. You can practice your channel and current techniques to your heart’s content.
The lower part is wide and doesn’t have so much current in it. It does have creeks running into it, however, along with huge wide flats and tons and tons of grass. It’s a great place to practice shallow water fishing and keep your grass skills up to speed.
Since we moved here, I’ve taken advantage of both parts in an effort to improve my skills. One thing I worked on real hard was drop shotting. When we first arrived up here, I didn’t know much about it. But now it’s a technique I use in tournaments and when I want to take family and friends out just to catch a few.
Click here for part 2.