Dodging the weather

The Jones clan spent the entirety of last week at Kentucky Lake. I got to do quite a bit of prefishing. Well, I say prefishing — but it's not, really. You're not going to learn a whole lot in April that can help you in June. But you can get more familiar with the lake, and that's what I did.

I went to parts of the lake I'd never been to before to build up a little more confidence. Another good thing that came from this trip was spending some quality time with my son. The fishing was amazing. I never cease to be amazed at just how many fish are in Kentucky Lake. It's really a spectacular fishery. Getting out there was a good thing because we're just one dam down from Pickwick, which is where our tournament is.

Even though it's a completely different environment, it's the same water flowing through the two lakes. I'm hoping some of the patterns I found last week on Kentucky will translate to successful patterns this week on Pickwick. I'll know for sure this week in practice. At least it's a starting point to work from, so that can be helpful at Pickwick this week and even on Guntersville the next week. We've got a lot of Tennessee River fishing to do. While each lake along the river has its own unique personalities and characteristics, there are some similarities because they're all on the same river system.

Last week turned out to be a multi-purpose practice. We got down here to Florence, Ala., the day before last, and we've been dodging severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Fortunately, we didn't have any tornadoes where we are, but we did get some pretty heavy wind, rain and lightning. The tornado sirens went off and everybody in the campground headed to the bath house. I'm not sure it was any safer than the motor home. It was funny because all the fishermen's families were crammed into the bath house. I wish I had my camera for that one.

With the anticipation of that severe weather coming, I asked if there was any area that wasn't covered with trees where we could pick up satellite TV so we could watch the weather channel. The guy said we could park down on the point because there aren't any trees there. However, the reason there are no trees is because they were ripped out by tornadoes! I figure the chances of a tornado hitting the same place are pretty low, so we're parked there now.

Since we're so close to the event, there were a ton of Elite guys out there. It seemed like half the field was there. We saw James Niggemeyer, Brent Chapman, Gary Klein, Marty Stone, Yusuke Miyazaki, Cliff Pace, Jared Lintner and a bunch of others. It seemed like a regular practice day. I think there was enough time between tournaments to do some serious prefishing but not enough time to go home, so the lake was busier than normal this far in advance of the tournament. Anyhow, be on the lookout for a new Keeping Up with the Joneses this week!