2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro
Lake Guntersville - Birmingham, AL, Feb 21 - 23, 2014

What a day!

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 didn’t catch the big fish I wanted today but I have to tell you that it was wonderful nonetheless. The sendoff that the crowd gave us this morning was out of this world. The roar — it was deafening — brought tears to my eyes. Guntersville, and Birmingham, have done us right. We couldn’t ask for anything better.

That’s what a Classic is supposed to be about. Without the excitement of the crowd, the fans and all the support people it wouldn’t be the greatest tournament in all of fishing. I’m really proud to be associated with Guntersville. They’re class people.

Now let’s talk fishing.

My day ended with five fish that’ll weigh something around 15 pounds. That’s not what I would have liked to have had today but the fishing was tough, at least for me. After the storms last night, the creeks were running muddy, really muddy, and that didn’t do me any good.

There’s no doubt that at this point my work is cut out for me. I need a big sack tomorrow and Sunday if I’m going to win this thing. And make no mistake about it. That is my intention.

My goal is to have at least a 5-pound average in my livewell when I make the drive back to Birmingham tomorrow. That may or may not be enough, but it’ll be a start.

I do want to say, however, that it looks like some of the guys got on them. Apparently the muddy water from the creeks didn’t bother them. That’s the way it is at this level. Somebody always figures out a way to catch them.

Given the changing water, I’ll change my strategy tomorrow. I’m thinking I’ll start where I caught most of my keepers today. From there, I’ll either try some of the spots I had marked in practice, or I might just go fishing in new water. I honestly don’t know which approach would be best as this point. There are pros and cons either way.

It’s good sometimes to go to what you know. That gives you a sense of confidence and you know what to expect. And you wouldn’t be there if you hadn’t caught fish there or at least think there’s fish there.

New water can be just as good, though, especially when you feel like you have to swing for the fences. Sometimes you can stumble on to a bunch of big ones that no one else has found. When that happens, you can make up for a tough day in a hurry.

Regardless, I’m thinking that tomorrow will be much better than today. The creeks should be slowing down and the water should be clearing. That always creates a better environment for the hawgs of Guntersville. Hopefully, some of them will find their way into my livewell.

If that happens, you can bet ,that some of the other guys will have a better bite, too. From a fan’s point of view nothing could be better than that — dozens of anglers catching giant bass. That’ll show you why so many anglers think Lake Guntersville is the best bass lake in the county.  

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on www.twitter.com/ChrisLaneFish and www.facebook.com/chrislanefishing or visit his website, www.chrislanefishing.com

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