Looking forward to more river fishing

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.

I’ll tell you what, I really like what we’re fishing right now. Fishing rivers in the middle of May and the middle of June is something that’s right up my alley. The grass is going full-bore and the backwaters are holding aggressive postspawn fish.

I’m working on this before the final results are in from the Alabama River Charge and well before the Mississippi River Rumble event starts but regardless of how I do in either one of those events I’ll hold fast to my thoughts. (See results from the Alabama River.)

We can finally leave our heavy clothing in the motel room — or even better, back in a storage trunk at home — and concentrate on catching big bass while working up a sweat doing it. That’s my kind of fishing. And I have to tell you that my Snag Proof The Guntersville Frog box looks like its contents are ready to come out of hibernation. I suspect that the first thing they’ll want to do is take a swim over the top of some thick, nasty grass way back in some backwater area.

There isn’t much fishing that I know about that’s as much fun as catching shallow, aggressive bass. When they strike, they do it for real. There’s lots of noise and splashing water. That’ll get your attention no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. They jump and tail-walk a lot, too. Tell me that’s not a thrill!

Neither one of these events should be dominated by giant bass. I’d say that fish between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds will be the norm. If a fellow can catch a few over 3 pounds, he’ll be in pretty good shape. That makes for an exciting tournament.

The anglers have a contest in which two or three bigger bass can win it for you, but only if you catch the biggest ones in the most common weight range. It’s a serious test of your bass fishing skills. The fans, on the other hand, get something as well. Most of these kinds of events go down to the wire. You never know who will win until the very last minute.

One thing that is going to be a little different about them is the long break in between events. West Point and the Alabama River were scheduled back-to-back. There’s very little time to relax or decompress. (In fairness, I do want to say that I was able to go home Saturday night after West Point and spend two nights in my own bed before I had to leave for the Alabama River.)

That time off won’t affect our fishing skills much but it could affect the fish. Four weeks is a lot of time in nature. The water will warm up considerably, and the grass will have plenty of extra time to grow, get thick and in some places make mats. None of that will bother me one bit.

Of course, the big unknown is the weather, more specifically rain. Heavy rain can have a huge effect on a river in a matter of hours, sometimes within minutes. Actually, the water’s real high now on the Alabama. It’s supposed to go down but there’s also more rain on the way…

Next time we’ll break down the Alabama River in detail.

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