My earliest memories of Guntersville was it being a favorite of my childhood friend Lee Bryant’s father Marvin. Aside from my dad and two grandpas, Marvin was one of my big influences in bass fishing. Marvin took Ray Scott’s catch and release platform to hart and instilled it in Lee and I as we grew up fishing. Over the years those experiences have broadened and become more personal.
In the early 1990’s I transformed from a radio guy to a freelance photographer and writer. Back at that time there were three players in the outdoor Internet forum business. Bass Fishing Home Page, Shooters, and my beat Alloutdoors. All three of those originals are now defunct but I used to do many of Alloutdoors bass fishing columns and when Shemane Nugent had a fisherman on her radio show they called me to sit in on the panel. After Alloutdoors I went out on my own for a few years and I had the privilege of getting Guntersville guide Troy Jens to write some stuff and help keep the Guntersville reports current.
Gerry Lebing owner of Bass Fishing Home Page used to host an annual Guntersville Rally that featured a 1 fish tournament. I went to several of these where I got to meet Troy Jens in person as well as other bass fishing legends on Guntersville. If Troy's name doesn’t ring a bell look up some of the older Timmy Horton TV Show episodes. Troy fished with him often. One year I’d even paired up to fish with Troy but illness prevented him from going at the last minute.
In 2014 our friend Troy went missing. Mike Bucca, the maker of Bull Shad Swim Baits put out the call to come down and look for Troy. I was fortunate not to have run across Tennessee law enforcement on the way down but I came and helped Mike, Troy's brother Clay, a friend by the name of Garrett Coxwell, and well known Guntersville guide Rex Chambers hunt for Troy. The ending turned tragic, but I will say this. If I ever go missing on the water I hope those guys are involved in the search. They are all A #1 people.
I was sad to learn Sunday Morning that Rex has passed away from a heart attack after fishing a tournament on Guntersville. To his family, I extend my sympathies and for the fishing community who had met Rex or just knew him by reputation, he will be missed by a lot of people you will likely never know. Bass fishermen are a lot of things but at the core are a family.