Brown bass are different

Smallmouth bass are different. If you don't believe me, go catch one. For my money, they're stronger than a largemouth or spot. They fight harder and longer and are more challenging to catch.

This column is dedicated to the smallmouth bass and everything that makes it special. I've dedicated my career to catching these brown fish, and I wouldn't have it any other way. After all, smallmouth bass are different … and special.

Having lived my entire life near the Tennessee-Kentucky border and fishing Dale Hollow Lake for about 40 of my 45 years, it makes sense that I love smallmouth. But I like catching them anywhere and everywhere, not just at the Hollow.

To some extent, smallmouth bass are smallmouth bass wherever you find them. They'll behave similarly under a wide variety of conditions and circumstances. But it's also true that smallmouth can be very peculiar to a particular body of water.

In this blog, I hope to give you some insight into smallmouth fishing, smallmouth catching and why my favorite bass deserves your respect and attention. Along the way, I hope you'll come to understand why I think bass fishing, but smallmouth bass fishing in particular, is more than just a hobby or sport. It's a way of life and a language all its own for some of us.

Whether you chase after them in the fast-moving streams of Arkansas and Missouri, the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, the fly-in lakes of Canada, the Great Lakes along our northern border, the deep clear lakes of the West or the giant impoundments of the South, you join a family of anglers who know that the brown bass is not like all the rest, not for everyone and absolutely not just another fish.

It is our fish, our tradition and our way of life. And it's up to us to nurture this lifestyle just as we carefully release the majority of the bass we catch. After all, who better to spread the gospel of the brown bass than those of us who cherish it?

For those who do not fish or understand the magic of tempting a creature you cannot see into eating a piece of plastic, hunk of lead or splay of hair, it's difficult to convey. When women say they can't explain what giving birth is like, I take them at their word. I can only imagine the experience.

Luckily, catching a smallmouth bass is something almost all of us can do if we try.

For now, I'll just say that this column is for smallmouth bass lovers.

If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you. Please e-mail me

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