2014 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #2 presented by Allstate
Smith Lake - Jasper, AL, Mar 6 - 8, 2014

Spring on Smith Lake

A lot of us are down here getting ready to fish the second Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on Smith Lake. It’s been cold. Early yesterday morning it was in the 20s. I actually went back to my vehicle for more clothes, and I put my gloves on the dash with my defroster running to warm them up.

Nevertheless, it’s spring. If you doubt that, I recommend you look at some of the photos of the fish that have been caught in practice down here. They’re awesome.

While I’m on that subject, let me clue you in on something in case you don’t know. Under the Tournaments tab you can go to the Opens and look at the Blog that’s up. The first thing you will notice is that the spots are big and healthy. The second thing you will notice is that they are all fat with eggs. Like I said — it’s spring.

That blog does more than entertain, however. It gives those of us who are fishing the tournament valuable feedback. We can see what some of the other competitors are doing and then compare and contrast what’s going on with our practice. In some cases, it’ll validate what we’re doing. In other cases, it’ll scare the daylights out of us. Either way, though, it’s useful.

I especially got a kick out of David Cook’s 11-pound striper. I caught one yesterday that I’d guess weighed around 30 pounds. I’m not kidding. It took me forever to get the darn thing to the boat and get my jerkbait back.

Getting that bait back was important. It’s the most expensive fishing lure I own. As you know, I’m frugal (read: cheap). I have two of those lures, but I don’t throw them much because I don’t want to lose them. That makes sense, right? Buy a fishing lure and then not fish with it…

As you can tell, I’m fired up this morning. This is my favorite time of the year. It’s a real treat to be outside on the water enjoying Mother Nature. Everything is starting to come to life after a miserable winter. In another couple of weeks, things will be perfect, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Another thing that’s got me going is Smith Lake itself. This is a beautiful place. It’s almost like Dale Hollow in Tennessee except that Dale Hollow doesn’t have any houses around it on the shoreline.

There are canyons everywhere that go back for miles and it’s really narrow. It’s such a pleasure to be able to fish on a lake like this. The people who live around here are truly lucky.

Based on everything I’ve seen, I think we’ll all be surprised by the weights that are brought to the scales. The fish are big here and it looks like there’s going to be a pretty good bite. It’s supposed to warm as the tournament goes along. That’ll help.

Next time I’m going to talk a little about why spring makes sense to me as an angler. I think I understand it from the fish’s point of view.

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