2009 Elite Series - Southern Challenge Lake Guntersville - Guntersville, AL, May 7 - 10, 2009

Shock and Awe at Lake Guntersville

Things are not quite what anglers are used to on Guntersville

Kevin Short

Also by the author

 LAKE GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Ken Cook said while we were waiting for the Guntersville derby briefing on Wednesday that it would take 38 pounds to get a check this week. I thought to myself, there's no way. The past four times we've been to G'ville, it hasn't taken more than 15 a day to put a guy on the sheet. No way would it take 38 pounds. Well, Ken was wrong and I was even wronger. Wronger by about 14 pounds, to be exact. To add insult to injury, K-Short was the first one out of the cut with 41 pounds, 1 ounce. Ouch. Had to smear a little Redneck Remedy on the toosh to soothe the chap on that one.

 Oh, I had the opportunity to be working on Saturday. Had that opportunity twice on Thursday, as a matter of fact. Unlike the first four events of the season where everything worked out like a dream, which you can read about here, Day One at G'ville was just – funky for me. I had my usual less than stellar practice, just like I've had all season, but I figured I could catch 18 – 19 pounds and be right there in the mix. W-R-O-N-G. I caught my 18 pounds, 8 ounces just like I had planned. Problem was; it took 20-12 to be in the Top 50. There were 63 bags over 20 pounds weighed in on Thursday. That's a problem for a guy with 18-8.

 During the course of my Funky Thursday, I managed to lose two fish in the five pound range, either of which would have put me easily in the Top 50 with a chance to keep moving up the points scale. Wow, amazing how things can roll along so smoothly for so long, everything's clicking, everything's groovy, and then the wheels just fall off. When the first five pounder came up beside the pink tackleInteractive.com Mercury powered BassCat (like how I slipped that sponsor plug in one you there? Pretty subtle wasn't it? Hey, all the other guys are pounding you with it, I figured I might as well throw mine in when I can) on Thursday morning and broke my spinnerbait, the wheels started to wobble a little. Later in the day when another five jumped and threw my jig back at me just as I was reaching out to grab it, out of the corner of my eye I saw the wheels literally blow off the axles. One set went toward Scottsboro and the other set went somewhere toward South Sauty. It was an ugly sight.

 Now I can look back and chuckle – a little. At the scene of the crash, it was pretty devastating. No, I didn't melt down, throw things, or stomp on my St. Croix Legend Xtreme 7 foot Heavy (subtle, eh?). I sat down, got out another spinnerbait, in the case of the first one, and re-tied my jig, on the latter, and tried to catch another five pounder. What else is a guy supposed to do?

 Was it the spinnnerbaits fault? Not hardly, as it was the same one I had used during practice; a stupid mistake, as I had a whole box full of identical baits. Dumbass. Was it the jig's fault? Nope, I could see as it jumped the first time that fish was hooked on the lower lip, probably just in the skin, and as it jumped the third time just out of reach, the hook simple pulled loose. Another 8 inches and I would have had my hand on her and been a hero. Bad luck.

 So what's going on with Lake Guntersville that it takes almost 42 pounds to get a Top 50 check? It's nothing short of amazing. If you want to go somewhere and catch fish and catch fish of all sizes, then you need to hook up the boat and get your butt to Guntersville. NOW. You could easily catch 50 fish per day on this pond from 12 inches to 7 or 8 pounds. If you work a little, you could probably top the 100 mark. If you only want to catch big fish, the quantity will go down, but you can still catch some big fish. Will be interesting to see what's caught during Bob Sealy's Big Bass Splash May 16 and 17.

 There must be a fine balance on Guntersville between the amount of grass, quantity of bait, and number of bass. Right now, everything seems to be in perfect synergy between those three variables. Added to the mix is the fact that the TVA is moving massive amounts of water down the Tennessee River this week, and you have the makings of a truly world class fishery. It's all about being there and right now if you're within a day's drive, you need to be on Guntersville. This ain't bass fishing – it's bass catching.

 For more info on Kevin Short or to contact Kevin, check out his website at www.kfshort.com.

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