This week is stop number seven of the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season on Lake Guntersville. I think this is the earliest in my eight years on the Elite Series that we’ve been on stop number seven, and we’re not even out of May yet, which is pretty cool.
Guntersville is good, but it’s definitely different this week and has a lot going on. I’ve actually caught a couple of fish that I’m pretty sure were prespawn, I’ve seen fish that are still actually spawning, I’ve witnessed shad and bluegill spawning and I’ve also caught fish on ledges in 15 to 20 feet of water where they spend the summer here. So, obviously, when you have that many things going on, it makes for a very interesting tournament. Thankfully, I do have some experience here and know some good ledge spots and other places that I believe fish are currently coming to.
Two years ago, we were here in June, and there were great big schools of fish offshore on the ledges that I found, but this time I just haven’t found any of those massive schools. So, there’s going to be a lot of fish caught in the grass this week, a lot of fish caught shallow and off of beds. I really would not be surprised to see a guy win it that mixes in both a shallow and a deep bite together. This is the only week that I believe I can say that. I think if we were coming a week later, you would have to spend all of your time fishing either the grass or the ledges.
This week, I’m going to fish the way I like to fish here. We have some warm days coming up during the tournament, and I feel like a lot of the fish should be leaving the bank and going out deep. You have to remember, at Guntersville that there’s always going to be fish that live shallow. There’s always going to be fish that live in the grass 12 hours a day, 365 days a year. But, there are some really good fish that live out deep on the ledges here, and I spent a good bit of time learning and fishing these ledges last summer while our season was paused due to COVID. I had a decent practice, and I do have several schools of fish found out there, and so that’s how I plan on spending my tournament.
However, I’ve been down this road before, and I do know you need a backup plan. So I spent some time poking around shallow, and I do have some spots where I know I can get bites. I also have a backup plan to the backup plan, so we’ll see how it goes. I’d say I probably spent 65% of my practice just idling. Looking at how fish were set up, where they were located, which spots were getting local pressure, stuff like this. You never know how a ledge tournament will go until you get out there and see what you can get on. I have a bunch of different rods rigged up from crankbaits, big worms, jigs, drop shots. I’ll have all that rigged up on the deck, and that’s how I plan on spending most of my tournament. If I have to go shallow, I will.
I love Lake Guntersville; I hope it treats me well this week. There should be lots of big ones caught. Y’all stay tuned, and we’ll see what happens.