Sweet success

Finally, I've had some success. Pickwick was good to me — not great but good. I fished on Saturday and cashed a check. That's what you're supposed to do as a pro. Halleluiah! It's about time after my slow start this year. It really feels good to have a little success.

And how about that Kevin Short? What a performance. I mean, when you catch two big ones while your lure is stuck to a tree you know it's your day. He's a nice fellow. I'm really glad for him. He earned his win fair and square. That little crankbait he throws is dynamite.

Anyway, I'm on Guntersville having the time of my life. The fishing here is even better than it was on Pickwick. Believe me when I say this is going to be one heck of a bass tournament. I think every angler in the Elite Series is familiar with the lake. Most of us have fished it over and over again. In some ways it's darn near our home water. Add to that the fact that we all know what the successful guys have done here in the past to catch their fish and you can see where I'm headed.

Based on a short two days of practice, I'd say it'll take 25 pounds a day — maybe more — to win this one. I know that sounds heavy, but the fishing is awesome. There's no other word for it. There was a local tournament here a couple of days ago — 25 boats. Eleven of them weighed more than 20 pounds. When's the last time you weighed in 20 pounds and didn't get a check? I'll wager you can't remember. Stand by for a shootout is all I'm going to say. It's going to get ugly.

If any of you are looking for a great place to go fishing, think about the Tennessee River impoundments, especially Guntersville. I've fished most of North America, and I can tell you that series of lakes is as good as it gets. They rival anything I've ever fished, and they're a lot closer for some of us than the exotic places in Texas and California. I'm not saying anything bad about those places. It's just that these lakes are every bit as good. That's something to keep in mind if you're on a budget. I suppose that's all of us now, isn't it? At the same time, I'm not saying you don't have to work to catch them. You do. They don't jump in the boat. And I'm not saying you can't come at the wrong time. You can. Nasty cold fronts haunt all of us. It's just that these lakes are as good a bet for a great trip as any place you can go in our country. That's enough jaw jacking for now. Wish me luck come Thursday.