Good Friday, good memories

I'm back in Columbus working at Signcom waiting for Friday to get here. Every year on Good Friday they have a big tournament on Indian Lake here in Ohio out of Acheson's Resort. The lake is a great bass fishery, and Acheson's offers good food, lots of fish pictures and plenty of big fish lies ... I mean stories.

Way back in my youth, maybe 25 years ago, I was a kid from the city with very little tournament experience. I started going to Indian Lake to learn how to compete. I met a couple of guys — Don Kraft and Bob Mosher — who helped me get started. They were involved with the Trophy Bassmasters and the North Side Bassmasters, a couple of local clubs in the area. Everyone sort of adopted me and helped me get going. Those were great days filled with bass, laughs and learning experiences. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I can't say enough good about Kraft and Mosher, two men who were willing to help a struggling kid learn how to fish under the clock. They were my heroes then and still are today. It's no exaggeration to say that they own a part of everything that's been good about my career.

Anyway, I'm going to fish the Good Friday tournament this week for the first time in about 10 years. I really don't know why I haven't been back, but I haven't. This is the year to correct that. There'll be at least 100 boats entered, and I'll know the guys in 90 of them. It's going to be a great day.

Indian Lake is also the place where I once fished a tournament in which no keepers were caught. In all my years of fishing, involving hundreds and hundreds of tournaments, it's the only time I've seen everyone in a tournament blank.

Here's how it happened: It was early in the year. The night before we had a snowstorm blow through that dumped 18 inches of snow on us. As my partner and I were driving toward the lake, I commented we'd be the only ones dumb enough to show up. But, to my surprise, when we arrived at the ramp there was a long line of trucks and boats waiting to launch. Some of the guys were out shoveling snow off the ramp. I actually thought there'd be some bass caught, but that was not to be. We ended up dividing all the money into five equal parts and drawing for them.

Next week it'll be time to get ready for the Smith Mountain event. I hope this good weather doesn't put them on the beds. I'd rather fish for prespawn bass than try to catch them sight fishing beds. Don't get me wrong, Smith Mountain is a great bed fishery. It's just that bed fishing isn't my thing. I'll give you the Indian Lake update next week.