Sumrall and Zaldain say Guntersville is atypically tough

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Alan McGuckin

Caleb Sumrall and Chris Zaldain both rolled into Lake Guntersville’s famous Waterfront Grocery Boat Ramp at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday morning for the final day of practice for the Bassmaster Elite Series stop as though it was a coordinated effort.

In reality, it was just a coincidence. And to hear how similar their answers were to questions about what fans can expect from this famous fishery when competition begins Wednesday, you would have thought they were reading from the exact same script.

Q: Give this world class fishery a letter grade now that you’ve had two full days of practice.

Sumrall: C-

Zaldain:

Q: Those are not very impressive grades. What’s making it so tough?

Sumrall: Man, it’s just this time of year in the Deep South, and the aquatic vegetation is set up in a manner this week that doesn’t make the holes in it easy to target.

Zaldain: The weather. It went from beach weather to Carhartt jacket weather in a matter of two days. The second major cold front of early fall just rolled in, and I think it’s got these fish spun out.

Q: What three lures will you lean on a lot?

Sumrall: Pitching a 1- to 1.5-ounce Texas rigged punch weight, a soft swimbait and a ChatterBait.

Zaldain: Pitching a 1- to 1.5-ounce Texas rigged punch weight, a fast moving topwater (grins) and a small MegaBass 110 +1 junior jerkbait.

Q: How much weight will you have to average each day to leave here with a Top 10 on Saturday afternoon?

Sumrall: 14.8 pounds per day.

Zaldain: I’ll say 14 pounds per day.