Summertime blues

It's summertime on a Tennessee River impoundment, Kentucky Lake. We all know what that means. The little fish are shallow, the big fish are deep. That's good for some of us Elite Series anglers but not so good for others. I'm one of the not-so-good-for others.

In my world, it's the summertime blues. There are tons of bass up against the shore. The water is relatively high, and that makes for a lot of good fishing spots in shallow water. You can catch one on almost every cast. The problem is they aren't big enough for a check ... or even to keep in most cases. You can't win with little fish; I don't care where you're fishing.

This is a tough business. In a lake with the weight potential of this one, you have to be on big heavyweights. Some of the guys are saying it'll take 100 pounds to win this week. That's the way it is on the Elite Series.

That's not good for me. I like docks and other shallow patterns. That's how I was hoping to earn my fourth check in a row this season. It's not likely to happen, though. But I have no intention of giving up. I'm going to spend a little more of my practice time trying to find a shallow pattern that produces the weights I think I'll need. If that doesn't work, and I don't think it will, I'll have to move out on the ledges and do what I can with a deeper pattern.

It's not like I can't fish deep. I can. I know how to fish with deep-diving crankbaits, heavy jigs, big Texas rigged worms and heavy spinnerbaits. It's just that I feel more comfortable doing other things.It's a head game, really. You think you're good at something like skipping plastics under docks. You catch a few bass doing it, maybe even cash a check or two. That reinforces the idea that you're good at it. Then you try something else. You don't catch a fish. Now you know you were right the first time. If you're not careful, that kind of fishing becomes a vicious circle. As a professional, you have to break that train of thought and action.

The only article of faith in this business is doing what works. You do whatever it takes to catch more pounds of bass than the other anglers. There's no other way. That's enough for now. See you next week!

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