Transitioning to spring

As I drive south from my Kalamazoo home, I’m thrilled to see the seasonal change. The further south I get, I see more trees budding, dogwoods blooming and greener grass.

Although I was just in Texas for the first Elite Series tournament, this transition seems so strange because it’s been 20 degrees during mornings back in Kalamazoo. In fact, some of lakes are still partially clogged with ice!

Ahh…but the drive has made me forget about that. Seeing the transition to spring is exciting and signals a time of year every bass angler loves – fishing during the spawning season.

There are many reasons why, but the biggest is that you don’t have to worry about whether you need to fish deep, shallow or in-between. You know the fish will be shallow, so that narrows the search.

I’m looking forward to next week’s Guntersville event. Without question, Guntersville is one of the best lakes on the Tennessee River and ranks among the country’s premier bass lakes.

And what a tournament it will be. You can bet the bass will be spawning when the tournament starts because we’re coming off a full moon. But they all don’t spawn at once, so the real challenge will be to figure out multiple patterns and locations. The wild card is finding that big group of prespawn fish that hasn’t moved up.

As much fun as it will be to fish, the tournament will provide great excitement for the fans. The catch should be awesome and you’re going to see a lot of big bass.

The lake is one of the most popular among tournament pros because the lake has something to offer all of us, regardless of each man’s fishing style. Everyone will be in their comfort zone and knowing that the next cast could produce a 10 pounder.

It’s anyone’s guess as to what pattern will work best. Guys will be sight fishing, some will simply be blind casting in the spawning areas and there will be others fishing for prespawn fish or the bass that have already left the beds.

Of course, weather could throw us a curveball. In the past we’ve had to deal with fast rising water and big rains. But if we get stable weather, expect a real slugfest.

Honestly, I prefer events that are tough and deal us fast-changing conditions that make fishing a grind. That’s where I tend to excel best. On the other hand, a slugfest will make it more fun.

One thing is for sure; I’m looking forward to wearing shorts and flip flops again, and more importantly, fishing an event where I don’t have to wonder if I’m going to get a bite. At Guntersville, you just wonder how big that bite will be.

You’ll get to see quite a bit of the action live on Bassmaster.com. Show producers told me this week that they are ramping up their coverage because they know how good the fishing will be. They realize this is shaping into an incredible event with great fishing and plan to capture a good deal of it for live viewers.

And I plan to be right in the middle of it!

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!