My record on Lake Guntersville is solid. I’ve had a number of high finishes there that included some 25-plus pound stringers, and I’ve caught them in a variety of ways.
The one thing that factored into nearly all those catches was vegetation.
Of all the events listed on this year’s Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, I was most optimistic about this one.
That may come as a shock to some of you since my favorite fishery — the St. Lawrence River — is also on the schedule. And you know how much I like that place.
The reason I wanted Hartwell was the timing. It fell dead on the spawn, and I love to sight fish. And with more than 56,000 surface acres, I knew I’d find somewhere to fish by myself.
At nearly 40,000 surface acres, Lake Lanier is spacious and welcoming. Its beautifully sculpted shorelines feature countless points, pockets and coves — all comprised of rock, sand or clay.
The main body of the lake is deep and clear but to the north, the rivers feeding Lanier flow with a chalky stain.
When B.A.S.S. first released the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, I saw plenty of opportunity. Most of the venues seemed perfectly suited to my style of fishing, and I was anxious to get things rolling.
Unfortunately, with each passing event that optimism faded. In the end, I was left with the worst season of my 30-plus-year career.