Randall Tharp lived near Lake Guntersville for 17 years before moving back to his home state of Florida last summer. Over that period of time, Tharp witnessed a change in bass spawning habits here.
"When I first started fishing here, the fish didn't spawn back in the creeks," Tharp said. "They spawned just off the main river channel."
When Tharp got here in December to look over the lake, before the cut-off date, he saw fish ganged up near the river channel again and thought they might go back to their old habits this year.
"That's what gives me the best chance to use my local knowledge," said Tharp.
He doesn't know exactly why the bass change but thinks it probably has to do with the amount of aquatic vegetation in the lake. The one thing he doesn't like is the lake level, which is only a foot or so higher than normal, but that's like 5 feet at other reservoirs.
"This lake is notorious for not fishing great when it's high," Tharp said. "When you get to the ramp and it's low, you know you're going to catch 'em."
Tharp said he's mainly throwing moving baits this week, X-Caliber lipless crankbaits, Rapala DT6s, and SPRO McStick jerkbaits, while mixing in a jig at times.